As the president of the Chicago-based Female Health Company (FHCO), Mary Ann Leeper had faced many business challenges, but none had prepared her for what she now faced. As a biochemist, activist, and entrepreneur, Leeper wanted nothing more than to slow, if not halt, the spread of HIV/AIDS. FHCO ushered its novel product, the female condom, through a tortuous FDA approval process knowing that female condoms would be a tough sell to consumers, so Leeper had sought the best advertising and PR help for the U.S. product launch. But the public response to the product was not at all what they expected. After spending years and millions of dollars on developing and launching the female condom in the United States, FHCO was operating with seriously depleted resources. Why wasn’t this lifesaving product moving off the shelves?
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia