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    "When many cures are offered for a disease, it means the disease is not curable" -Anton Chekhov

    ''Once you tell people there's a cure for something, the more likely they are to pressure doctors to prescribe it.''
    -Robert Ehrlich, drug advertising executive.

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    Friday, February 16, 2007

    Young Minds: Those pervasive ED commercials:

    In December alone, an ad for impotence drug Viagra aired at around 9 p.m. during "Prancer," a G-rated movie about a young girl who nurses one of Santa's reindeers back to health; another spot for rival medicine Levitra appeared during an afternoon showing of the comedy "Pee-wee's Big Adventure;" and another for Cialis graced an early-evening presentation of the holiday classic "Miracle on 34th Street."

    .....The pharmaceutical industry implemented its self-imposed advertising guidelines for marketing prescription drugs directly to patients last year. The drug makers promised to target audiences that are 80% adult, defined as over 18 years old. Pfizer and the other impotence-drug makers said they would go one better and target only audiences that are 90% or more adult.

    "They're not all sticking to this," says David Kweskin, senior vice president of TNS, a marketing-research firm. "It's tough to spend that kind of money without some slippage."

    The American Academy of Pediatrics has called for the erectile-dysfunction commercials to be restricted to after 10 p.m. so that children wouldn't view sex as "a recreational sport."

    The pediatricians have a point, although their official statement belabors a grievance against the drug companies for failing to advertise birth control pills. One comes away from it thinking they wouldn't mind ads that make sex seem a "recreational sport" if they were for contraceptives instead of impotence:

    Sex is used in commercials to sell everything from beer to shampoo to cars. New research is showing that teenagers' exposure to sexual content in the media may be responsible for earlier onset of sexual intercourse or other sexual activities. What is increasingly apparent is the discrepancy between the abundance of advertising of products for erectile dysfunction (ED) (between January and October, 2004, drug companies spent $343 million advertising Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis) and the lack of advertising for birth control products or emergency contraceptives on the major TV networks. This is despite the fact that 2 national polls have found that a majority of Americans favor the advertising of birth control on TV. Ads for ED drugs give children and teens inappropriate messages about sex and sexuality at a time when they are not being taught well in school sex education programs. Research has definitively found that giving teenagers increased access to birth control through advertising does not make them sexually active at a younger age.

    posted by Sydney on 2/16/2007 09:08:00 PM 0 comments


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