Scratch or Sniff: A New Website for Allergy Awareness

Check out Scratch or Sniff, created by copywriter and branding expert, Roo Ciambriello of New Haven.  This contributing writer to Adweek has a popular, personal blog called Semiproper where she wrote several posts about health concerns after her eldest daughter was diagnosed with food allergies.  The positive response prompted her to create the new site, launched in June with a team of five writers.

"It's a web site for parents of kids with allergies, asthma and eczema," says Ciambriello, noting that these conditions often go hand-in-hand and a diagnosis of one should signal a parent to watch out for the others.  "What we're trying to do is raise awareness and also give support to parents."

Within 4 months, page views grew from 0 to 75,000 per month.  The mom of three daughters believes the site is a uniquely relatable resource.

This writer, known for her articles documenting time spent in southeast Asia with investiagtors working to end human trafficking, thinks there's not enough public understanding about food allergies and that some parents are resistant to recognize the real dangers involved.

"There are two children with food allergies in every classroom and food allergies are getting worse.  It can be a super stressful thing for parents," says Ciambriello.  The risk of anaphylaxis is always on these parents' minds...everyday, every minute.  But, based on feedback, Ciambriello hopes perception is changing:  "The interesting thing is, it's not just parents reading our web site.  It's teachers, coaches, parents who don't have food allergy children themselves but those kids come over for playdates and they don't know what to feed them.  So, it's really great to see that it's not just the food allergy community that's reading."

Click here for advice on Navigating the Class Party with a Food Allergy from Scratch or Sniff.


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