In December 2012, activist investor Bill Ackman placed a $1B short on Herbalife stock and immediately launched an unprecedented campaign to influence regulators and elected officials in an effort to destroy the company. At the time, Herbalife, a highly regarded but little known direct-selling nutrition company, did not have the infrastructure for the fight.
Herbalife hired SKDK in early 2014 to coordinate the defense and counter attack. First and foremost was creating a campaign that put the people of Herbalife – small businesspeople who care about the health and nutrition of their friends and neighbors – out front.
SKDK managed a campaign that included: a proactive and defensive communications strategy; coalition support for a concurrent lobbying campaign to educated elected officials; digital, print and television advertising; third party engagement; and social media.
A multi-year investigation by the FTC, prompted by Ackman supporters, concluded in July 2016, and Herbalife has been cleared of the pyramid scheme allegations.
Meanwhile, after a prolonged defensive campaign, Ackman has finally lost credibility with the public and his investors. With the FTC’s favorable ruling, and SKDK’s help, Herbalife is now able to move forward as a company and focus its attention on growing its successful business.
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