Medicinal Advertising: Serious Turned Sensual

That’s some sexy…medicine you have there?

We’re all used to advertisements with sexy women persuading the viewer to do something, buy something, use something. From cosmetic products, to home appliances, to Big Macs; we get it, sex sells — while it’s not the most original or creative avenue — it sells.

First, I’d like to talk credibility. After viewing this, all the audience (men) really know, is that they would very much like to be in a tropical location, lying in bed next to the hot blonde featured in the ad. What information do we really leave with though, besides the serious warnings about losing eyesight, which run against images of this same woman performing her slow motion walk around the island, stopping occasionally to give the camera a “come hither” look? They probably didn’t catch much of that, and then proceed to “talk to [their] doctor about Viagra.”

It’s somewhat of a domino effect, as now the doctor feels pressure to prescribe said medication, when perhaps the patient isn’t in need of it, or would be better off with a different drug/brand/dosage. The point is, there are several reasons why advertising of medicinal products does more harm than good. Sure it “educates” the consumer, but does it really, or is it simply convincing them that they need said medication?

Not to mention (and I’ve never understood this phrase, since I am in fact about to mention it) all of the products that get their patents renewed by adding one inactive ingredient, and slapping a new name on it; and occasionally even creating a whole new illness that you are now convinced you must have (“Ever get tired, moody, hungry? If this sounds like you, then HELLO, YOU’RE A HUMAN BEING. CONGRATULATIONS!”). Or the fact that these advertisements are not viewed or approved by the FDA, or any government agency for that matter, before airing. Sort of like how tap water is more regulated than bottled water, yet we are fiends for any water that is bottled or “exotic,” but I digress.

If you want to hire a top model to devour your burger in a string bikini, fine. But that scenario shouldn’t translate into the medical profession. You see, I used the word “profession,” to indicate that it should be run by professionals, in a professional manner. It is your doctor’s job to PRESCRIBE medication, not their advertising agency’s job to PERSUADE you to use it.


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