There’s Something Wrong
Seems like a bad commercial parody but it’s real!
“Health product” companies dominate primetime TV ads. Many of their commercials feature:
1. Fantasy scenarios with feel-good music, bright, happy colors and high-key lighting.
2. Genial but fast-talking narrators who are required to describe nasty side effects at length at the end of each commercial.
3. Creepy new characters who appeal to creepy new market segments, including “The Zoloft Egg, “ “The Vytorin Relatives” and “Smiling Bob,” whose Enzyte recently lost a class action lawsuit of $2.5 million for “unsubstantiated claims.”
Similarly, CNN’s Anderson Cooper recently did an interesting report on how millions of prescription drugs never approved by the FDA are being sold everywhere. Both doctors and pharmacists plead ignorance.
You can complain about these ads to the FCC at firstname.lastname@example.org or your state’s Attorney General.
On January 23, Merck and Schering-Plough Corp.’s announced that they are pulling all TV ads for the cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin (“the Vytorin relatives”) because the drug is no more effective than a high dose of one of its components, which is available at a fraction of the cost.
Melissa Davis of Forbes Magazine sheds light on the unraveling of Vytorin.