When I took on the operations role at Swisse back in 2005, my dad warned me that the TGA regulation and bureaucracy would be challenging. He was right. It was a lesson in being aware that a PR disaster could land on your doorstep at any time, and when you least expect it, or deserve it.

Our PR challenge started when we received a fax from the TGA questioning (again) our famous tagline: ‘Tired? Stressed? You'll feel better on Swisse.’ We wrote back, confirming that our tagline had been signed off by the TGA seven years earlier. (On that occasion, a competitor had complained that our tagline was a marketing claim and not a scientific claim. They won. We appealed and we won. Case closed.) We attached the ruling we had received from the Federal Health Minister, sent it to the TGA and waited.

This fresh (anonymous) complaint was brought before a committee made up of professionals, consumers and industry reps whose job was to come together and decide on whether a complaint should stand or not. They advised us that the complaint would be upheld and we’d have to drop the tagline.

A few days prior to getting the ruling from the TGA, I got a call from a journalist from The Daily Telegraph. She said, ‘We’ve been contacted by someone from the TGA who’s advised us that you’ve lost your case, and that the complaint will be upheld and you’ll need to drop your tagline.’ I told the journalist we’d been down this track before, and had won every single time, and that ...

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