Advertising

Conversion Digital offers to pay for employees’ Ozempic

A Melbourne, Australia-based company has sent an email to staff about “weight management”, offering to cover the monthly expenses of the controversial drug Ozempic.

Digital marketing agency Conversion Digital, which employs more than 70 people, emailed all staff to discuss “weight management.”

The email, which the company shared with news.com.au, explained that it was excited to roll out a “new employee benefits” scheme designed to assist interested staff’s “personal wellness” journeys.

The email explained the company was looking to spotlight “weight management” and that it would pay for prescription medication for staff to take.


A Melbourne-based company has sent an email to staff about “weight management”, offering to cover the monthly expenses of the controversial drug Ozempic.
AFP via Getty Images

Conversion Digital general manager Sylvia Tiet said that while the email explicitly mentioned weight loss, it did not intend to contradict TGA’s guidelines.
Conversion Digital general manager Sylvia Tiet said that while the email explicitly mentioned weight loss, it did not intend to contradict TGA’s guidelines.
Handout

The email stated that the company was aware staff were not “medical professionals” but wanted to advocate for a “proactive approach to health.”

“Below are two options that might pique your interest. These are uncharted territories, and while we aren’t medical professionals, we can share the impact we’ve observed overseas,” the email reads.

The email listed two prescription drugs it would be happy to cover the costs, with a monthly allowance of $200 [$128 USD].

One was Ozempic, which the Therapeutic Goods Administration has only approved in Australia to manage type 2 diabetes, and the other was Wegovy, a prescription medication designed for weight management.

Wegovy isn’t available in Australia, but the company promises to keep employees “updated” if it does get approved.

The TGA has not approved Ozempic for any use outside of the treatment of diabetes and Wegovy hasn’t been approved for use in Australia.

“Let’s stay ahead of the curve. If you’re interested in these products or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Your health is our priority, and we’re here to support you on your journey,” the email reads.

Ozempic has become controversial because people have been using it for weight loss, which resulted in the demand for the drug growing so big in 2023 that it led to a nationwide shortage.

In June this year, the Therapeutic Goods Administration ( an Australian regulatory agency) said that it would continue asking medical professionals to limit their Ozempic prescriptions to only people with diabetes.

“Use will need to remain limited to the TGA-registered indication of type 2 diabetes until the end of December 2023.”

Conversion Digital general manager Sylvia Tiet told news.com.au that while the email explicitly mentioned weight loss, it did not intend to contradict TGA’s guidelines.


Digital marketing agency Conversion Digital, which employs more than 70 people, emailed all staff to discuss “weight management."
Digital marketing agency Conversion Digital, which employs more than 70 people, emailed all staff to discuss “weight management.”
Handout

The email stated that the company was aware staff were not “medical professionals” but wanted to advocate for a “proactive approach to health."
The email stated that the company was aware staff were not “medical professionals” but wanted to advocate for a “proactive approach to health.”
Handout

“Our intention is not to promote the product for weight loss contrary to these guidelines. Rather, we aim to provide our staff with information about various health and wellness options,” she said.

Tiet said the company always “encourages” staff to consult with healthcare providers before any new health regime.

“We are not, in any way, attempting to displace or disregard medical opinion. We believe in the importance of informed decision-making in consultation with healthcare professionals.”


“Below are two options that might pique your interest. These are uncharted territories, and while we aren’t medical professionals, we can share the impact we’ve observed overseas,” the email reads.
“Below are two options that might pique your interest. These are uncharted territories, and while we aren’t medical professionals, we can share the impact we’ve observed overseas,” the email reads.
Handout

Despite the controversial subject matter, Tiet said that employees hadn’t been upset by the email.

“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with no negative comments or concerns raised,” she said.

She said no complaints were made and, instead, she was met with queries from interested employees.

“Aside from payment queries, some staff members are seeking more information about the drug itself, and we have directed them to their doctor,” Tiet said.

“Other staff have inquired whether it is available for family members – one wants it for their dog. The usual type of normal and strange queries.”

In fact, she said that “two staff” members had already taken the company up on the offer.

Conversion Digital head of strategy Clayton Cross said he saw Ozempic as a “mega-trend,” and had noticed clients in Europe and America benefiting from the drug.

“We have clients overseas and they’re just happy as clams, lost weight, enjoying life, having more sex. It’s quite extraordinary,” he said.

Cross said that offering to reimburse the cost of the drug was a “benefit” for both the company and its staff.

“It shows a level of care for your staff and it is also helpful to attract and retain staff,” he told news.com.au.

Digital strategist Charlie Bear has worked at the company for more than four years and said the Ozempic email was a sign her company “cares” about its staff.


Conversion Digital head of strategy Clayton Cross said that offering to reimburse the cost of the drug was a “benefit” for both the company and its staff.
Conversion Digital head of strategy Clayton Cross said that offering to reimburse the cost of the drug was a “benefit” for both the company and its staff.
AFP via Getty Images

Ms. Bear said it had been received well and no one had expressed any concern.

“Everyone has been really on board and my workmates are excited,” she told news.com.au.

Ms. Bear said that she believed the offer came from a “genuine” place and reflected her modern workplace.

“For an employer to prioritize your health or wellbeing. It’s not like bringing in dollars, and it shows they care,” she said.