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The Worst Ads on TV

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Thread: The Worst Ads on TV

  1. #1
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    Default The Worst Ads on TV

    I wrote this for my pharmacology class. I hope you find it interesting. I hope it's ok that i disagreed with King slightly in one instance:

    Source: Entertainment Weekly : http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1031378,00.html
    Date: Feb 01, 2007

    Author: Stephen King (Yes, THAT Stephen King. But it really is an interesting article.)
    Title of Article: Stephen King on the worst ads on TV

    True to his roots, Stephen King begins the article with a horrific make-believe advertisement for thalidomide, the now banned drug that cured morning sickness in pregnant women, but also caused deformities in children. The reason why we never saw advertisements for this drug is for the simple fact that the FDA banned advertisements for prescription drugs in the 1960s and 70s. The wisdom of this policy helped prevent a potential catastrophe of a generation of deformed children. He then goes on to compare this to the lack of wisdom of today’s advertisements which heavily shilled Vioxx before it was taken off the market. According to King and the FDA’s own numbers there is a potential 27,000 people that are no longer alive because of Vioxx. Obviously if it weren’t for the mass-marketing of that drug, those numbers would be a lot less.

    King does make a strong case for not advertising drugs. Unless if the morning-sickness is so severe it actually threatens the life of the child or mother it’s almost certainly best to “live with it” than take drugs to prevent it. This is especially so if those drugs are new to the market.

    Where I strongly disagree with King is here:

    “Americans love a quick fix, and our love affair with snake-oil salesmen probably stretches clear back to the Pilgrims. And when the man says, ''Daddy fix, Daddy make it all better''. . .man, we love that. We love it.”
    I happen to be one of those folks Kind is deriding here. I use the extremely advertised drug Humira. And contrary to what he says, I’m not using it because I want “Daddy,” to “Make it all better”. I’m extremely aware of the potential dangers, I know that it breaks down the immune system and I know there’s potential for liver damage and a lot of other side effect. Before I started using it I tried a variety of other methods to control my Rheumatoid Arthritis including Physical therapy and a variety of other, less severe, drugs. Yet despite all those efforts it was still agony getting out of bed in the morning and I had to walk with a cane. So I started taking Humira, with my eyes wide open. Now I bike 160 miles a week and am enjoying life a lot more. Can Humira shorten my life? Of course. But then, so can Rheumatoid arthritis. Either way, before Humira I really wasn’t doing that much living.

    Advertisements do serve a purpose. They do let people know that there are alternatives to a life of pain. However King does make a very strong point that if a company advertises the wrong drugs and does it in the wrong way it can lead to a lot of unnecessary deaths. Perhaps the compromise is in the way it’s advertised. Despite my story, I don’t necessarily believe everyone should be on humira. If your arthritis is fairly minor it is probably best to stay away. But people should know it’s out there.
    Rather than a ban on prescription drugs that King is advocating it would be best to change the way these drugs are advertised. That drug advertisements should be entirely information oriented rather than sales oriented. That is no music, no happy smiling faces, no slogans. It should be as Jack Webb demands, “Just the facts, Mam”. Instead of a rousing chorus of “It’s a beautiful morning” telling us all about how wonderful Humira is, perhaps it should be a doctor in a jacket with a plain background saying, “Here’s a drug that may be work if you suffer from severe arthritis…. Here are the potential problems with it.” No frills, no miracles, just the plain facts that let people in need decide.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Worst Ads on TV

    Can I mention the current Comcast Triple play ad that features three woman and a man in a pseudo-Indiana Jones style adventure. And for the love of god, why do they have dancing and singing 'Lil Shop of Horrors plants giving the phone number? Surreal garbage.
    "One pixel can change everything."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Worst Ads on TV

    Worst Tv ads? Anything with Snoop-Dog or singing animals or both...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The Worst Ads on TV

    Steve isn't against prescription drugs but he did take exception with the advertising methods of the pharmaceutical companies. I think your suggestion makes sense that it be information-driven in laymen's terms but I also think we have become much more of an instant gratification results society which is why the current advertising techniques work as well as they do.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Worst Ads on TV

    The ever long NASPCA ad with all the poor dogs locked up and lonely. I cannot bear to watch or listen to it and often have to leave the room. I cannot stand it that I cannot help ALL of them and it just breaks my heart.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Worst Ads on TV

    Quote Originally Posted by Haunted View Post
    The ever long NASPCA ad with all the poor dogs locked up and lonely. I cannot bear to watch or listen to it and often have to leave the room. I cannot stand it that I cannot help ALL of them and it just breaks my heart.
    Now I know I'm not the only one. I always switch channels when one of those comes on. It's bad enough to be confronted with evidence of some of the worst human evil, but the commercials last forever.

    There's a Proactive commercial I can not see again or I'll break out in a rash (the one where the lady says, "...it's creamy, it's gentle, it's effective!").

    And I think there should be laws limiting GEICO commercials to less than 4hrs/day. (Can you imagine how great their service would be if they spent, say just a billion dollars of the advertising budget on other things?).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Worst Ads on TV

    So what are you saying, that you found the drug that works for you being possibly recommended for your condition via a television commercial, and you took that advertised recommendation to your doctor, and it was only then that he/she thought it to be a good idea prescribing it for you?
    Regardless, I'm so very happy you found something that's working to help give you relief for your condition!

    The fact does remain however, that big pharma has been allowed to advertise their products, the way they now do, to astronomically boost profits, and in doing so (specifically, in the way they do them), in my opinion, they irresponsibly prey upon our all to human need to find our very own, make us feel all better, medical magic bullets.
    They've also become many a hypochondriacs dream come true, and our airwaves, newspapers, magazines, internet, you name it, are shamelessly overly saturated with them...hey, advertising, it works.
    Personally, I wouldn't want any doctor that I have to ask if a medication is "right for" me that I saw on the tube.
    (or a six month old dog eared copy of People Magazine whilst sittin' in the waiting room, not to mention the now ubiquitous & cleverly placed advertising placards you'll find there...now how's that for convenient product push).
    It may be wishful wistful thinking, but I'd certainly hope my highly educated & most professional sawbones, might already have a least some vague clue if something was, or most hopefully, wasn't right for me, without my even askin'.


    Now the worse ad I've seen lately for a medication, or at least the most stupid in some time, has been for the over the counter analgesic, Bayer aspirin.
    A maybe thirty something numbnuts, is on a plane with a back ache, and he asks for something to help ease his discomfort.
    Flight attendant gives him some aspirin, and he condescendingly relates to the oriental woman (like she couldn't possibly understand English it seems to me) it's his back and not his heart that's bothering him ...really?
    Okay so maybe it's just me, but I have to ask, are there really a lot of thirty or so year old's out there, that just ain't hip to the fact that aspirin is one of our most effective, popular, and one of the oldest commercially pain relievers ever sold...really?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The Worst Ads on TV

    Okay so maybe it's just me, but I have to ask, are there really a lot of thirty or so year old's out there, that just ain't hip to the fact that aspirin is one of our most effective, popular, and one of the oldest commercially pain relievers ever sold...really?
    Most have been ad brain washed into thinking aspirin is only used to help prevent heart attacks. They have forgotten it's original use. Thus the reminders.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The Worst Ads on TV

    that aspirin is one of our most effective, popular, and one of the oldest commercially pain relievers ever sold...really?
    ...and here I thought it was whiskey, er some of dat behind the hill still distillate...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The Worst Ads on TV

    I'm very happy for Jennifer Hudson, but if she doesn't stop screeching in my ear about "a new day" in those insipid Weight Watchers ads, I believe I'm going to go straight out of my mind.

    Good god, that woman is like nails across a chalkboard.


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