Health Insurance Association of America

HIAA ‘Stunned’ By New Ad Campaign Featuring ‘Harry & Louise’

Date: 04/24/2002

April 24, 2002

WASHINGTON, April 24 /U.S. Newswire/ — “Harry and Louise,” the characters featured in well-known television advertisements by the Health Insurance Association of America, are now being used in new ads by a group supporting cloning research. HIAA President Dr. Donald Young issued the following statement today:

“Let there be no confusion: The Health Insurance Association of America has no involvement in the current advertising campaign and does not support or condone it. Frankly, we were stunned to learn that characters so closely associated with HIAA are now being used in other ways without our foreknowledge and without our permission. In the public mind, Harry and Louise represent the views of HIAA and the health insurance industry. To co-opt them for another client and another purpose is at best sleight-of-hand and at worst identity theft.

“The press materials from the group sponsoring the new ads say ‘Harry and Louise make a comeback,’ which begs the question: A comeback from what? It was HIAA that brought ‘Harry & Louise’ to national attention in 1993 and reinforced their role as the public face of the health insurance industry with additional ads in 2000. Given the importance of ‘Harry & Louise’ to HIAA, we intend to use every means at our disposal to stop this misappropriation of our image.”

HIAA is the nation’s most prominent trade association representing the private health care system. Its nearly 300 members provide health, long-term care, dental, disability, and supplemental coverage to more than 100 million Americans. It is the nation’s premier provider of self-study courses on health insurance and managed care.

CONTACT: Randy Clerihue of the Health Insurance Association of America, 202-824-1787; E-mail: rclerihue@hiaa.org