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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Big Pharma's Big Advertising

That "scientific aura" really moves the merchandise

TV advertising and magazine advertising---sometimes 2 to 3 standard pages for a single drug---is expensive. So why do the drug manufacturers do it? Simple-- because it is effective. Advertising experts carefully construct their ads for a specific TV audience or reader. Evening news watchers are subjected to an array of ads aimed at older citizens for the treatment of many health problems, especially the big ones----heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's and cancer----problems of this older generation that is most apt to tune in.

Sports watchers are subjected to a quite different set of ads. You don't see ads for the benefits of adequate doses of essential nutrients -- because they can't be patented and in most cases they work better than drugs in treating progressive diseases.

Remarkably, the evening news drug ads all have the same format. A trade name and the generic name are presented, both of which have a clever scientific ring to them. In lay terms, we are told what the drug is expected to do. Then a new, gentler, soothing voice that is many decibels softer chimes in announcing the adverse effects. All through the laundry list of adverse effects, we witness the recipient of the drug exhibiting tremendous enthusiasm for life as he/she partakes in fun things like parties or picnics and the most popular, romping with the family dog.

Steven Colbert writing in the Reader's Digest offered this: "Sometimes I wish I had more health problems, because the people in pharmaceutical ads have more picnics than I do."

More from Dr. Campbell..

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