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World Sight Day Is Here … and Here’s How Industry Members Are Participating

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It’s World Sight Day, an annual fundraising campaign coordinated by Optometry Giving Sight to help provide eyecare to those in need.

An estimated 1.22 billion people around the world are blind or vision-impaired because they do not have access to an eye exam and glasses.

Below we’ve compiled a few examples of how companies in the vision industry are participating in the effort.

Vision care practitioners and industry professionals around the world can participate in World Sight Day on social media by using the hashtags #sightchallenge and #helpachildsee. For more information about Optometry Giving Sight’s World Sight Day Challenge, which runs through the end of November, visit GivingSight.org.

WESTGROUPE: Partnering with the CNIB Foundation, this year WestGroupe launched the #WithoutMySight Challenge, an effort to raise awareness by challenging everyone to complete a daily task such as making coffee, applying makeup or making a sandwich while blindfolded and to record a 30-second video of their attempt. They are then encouraged to donate to Optometry Giving Sight, nominate three people to complete the challenge and upload their video to social media tagging @WestGroupe and using the hashtag #WithoutMySight.

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ABB OPTICAL GROUP: The company will donate a percentage of its DIGITAL EYE LAB Network sales through the month of October to Optometry Giving Sight. Since 2011, ABB OPTICAL has donated nearly $250,000 to Optometry Giving Sight through its annual World Sight Day Challenge fundraising initiatives, employee donations and other fundraising initiatives year-round.

ESSILOR OF AMERICA: Essilor of America has launched the #DifferenceMakers campaign on World Sight Day to recognize eyecare professionals who embody the company’s mission of improving lives by improving sight. By visiting EssilorUSA.com/DifferenceMakers anyone can nominate an ECP making a difference in the lives of others by Nov. 30, 2018 to join Essilor on a mission trip to Southeast Asia in 2019.

VISION SOURCE: Collecting donations from over 3,300 member practices nationwide, employees are also holding their own fundraisers through online auctions, dining events, virtual talent show, and a golfing trip raffle. Lastly, Vision Source is selling World Sight Day branded products, with 50 percent of the profits to be donated to Optometry Giving Sight.

DE RIGO REM: The company is asking its employees, partners and friends to join in the effort to raise awareness by posting a World Sight Day photo of themselves on social media with a pair of eyeglasses framing the thing they value seeing most each day to symbolize the power and impact of seeing clearly. For every post made during the month of October using the unique hashtag #SEEINGCLEAR, De Rigo REM will donate $2 as well as an additional $1 for every additional person tagged in the comments that you would like to see take the World Sight Day Challenge up to $10,000.

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Japanese Women Seek Right to Wear Eyeglasses at Work

Some companies require female workers to wear contacts instead.

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Women in Japan are calling for an end to company policies that forbid them from wearing eyeglasses, Fortune reports.

The issue appeared in the news recently, with Nippon TV reporting on companies that have such a ban in place, requiring female employees who need vision correction to wear contact lenses instead. That report sparked the hashtag “glasses ban” on Twitter.

Fortune quoted Banri Yanagi, a 40-year-old sales associate in Tokyo, saying, “The emphasis on appearance is often on young women and wanting them to look feminine.”

Yanagi added that it’s “strange” to prohibit eyeglasses for women but allow them for men.

Employees have also rallied against requirements at some companies for women to wear makeup and/or high heels.

Read more at the Fortune

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Eye Health Firm Plans Job Cuts

It will focus resources on Dextenza.

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BEDFORD, MA — Ocular Therapeutix Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on therapies for eye conditions and diseases, announced an operational restructuring plan.

The plan is expected to result in about $11 million in annualized savings through personnel reductions and $14 million in “one-time program deferrals,” according to a press release. The company did not say how many jobs would be cut.

With the restructuring, the company is looking to focus resources on Dextenza, an FDA-approved corticosteroid indicated for the treatment of ocular inflammation and pain following ophthalmic surgery.

“We have elected to restructure Ocular in order to maximize the opportunity we have with DEXTENZA and our pipeline,” said Antony Mattessich, president and CEO. “We will use a portion of the savings generated to increase the size of our commercial field force to broaden our national reach and increase DEXTENZA promotional capabilities. Additionally, the savings are anticipated to extend our cash runway through the end of 2020 and provide an improved financial position as we build the Company for the long term.”

According to the press release:

The restructuring represents a strategic realignment and commitment by the Company to allocate capital and resources to maximize the commercial opportunity of DEXTENZA® and focus resources on progressing key pipeline assets, including completion of its DEXTENZA Phase 3 trial in allergic conjunctivitis and completion of Phase 1 trials of OTX-TIC for the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension and OTX-TKI for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration. The Company believes the savings, combined with projected sales of DEXTENZA and cash and cash equivalents, will result in an extension of the Company’s current cash runway through the fourth quarter of 2020.

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FTC Releases Disclosures Guidance for Social Media Influencers

It explains when and how influencers must disclose sponsorships to their followers.

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Enlisting social media “influencers” has become a popular way to promote a wide range of products, including eyewear.

Unfortunately, it’s not always obvious to consumers what is and isn’t an ad. The Federal Trade Commission wants to fix that.

The FTC has released a new publication for online influencers that lays out the agency’s rules of the road for when and how influencers must disclose sponsorships to their followers.

The new guide, “Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers,” provides influencers with tips from FTC staff about what triggers the need for a disclosure and offers examples of both effective and ineffective disclosures.

The guide and accompanying videos underscore that the responsibility to make disclosures about endorsements lies with the influencer. The guide outlines the various ways that an influencer’s relationship with a brand would make disclosures necessary, and it reminds influencers that they cannot assume that followers are aware of their connections to brands.

The guide includes tips for when and how influencers should tell their followers about a relationship. For example, it suggests the words influencers might use, as well as where in their social posts a disclosure should appear.

The new publication summarizes the FTC’s existing guidance in this area, including the FTC’s Endorsement Guides and a 2017 question-and-answer document produced by staff.

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