Friday, June 27, 2008

'Round the Sphere: Pharma TV DTC Ads Offensive to Women?

While I was away in London this week, Richard Myer over at World of DTC Marketing sent me a copy of an email message he received from a reader of his blog who complained the that recent Evista TV ad, which shows menopausal women standing around wearing only towels, was "extremely offensive:"

I have been searching for who I should contact about the ad for Evista. I have seen it several times and want to say it is a very offensive ad. There are many women who have only a sheet wrapped around them.

This ad is very unbecoming and unnecessary to advertise medication. It once again adds to the lack of respect that the media has for women. Many of us are working for the dignity of women and ads such as this one destroys our efforts.
You can read Rich's take on this in the recent post entitled "Evista Ad Offensive?" I leave it up to you if the ad really is offensive to women.

No sooner than I was back home than I saw an unbranded fibromyalgia "disease awareness" ad by Pfizer. I definitely found this one disturbing in that it presented images of a bruised woman that looked very much like the battered woman syndrome posters and ads I have seen. See my post over at Pharma Marketing Blog entitled "Battered Woman Imagery in Pfizer's New Fibromyalgia Ad." Here's what I said about this ad:
"The whole thing smacked of desperation on Pfizer's part to sell more drugs and represents DTC advertising sinking to a new low in exploiting women's fears!"
Are these ads part and parcel of how pharma marketers view women or wish to appeal to their fears? I have noted previously that women were not portrayed very favorably in ads -- see "Women Need More Love, Less Drugs." Come to think of it, the ad I talk about in that post is another Pfizer ad -- a branded Lyrica ad!

2 comments:

Sunil S Chiplunkar said...

This is a very interesting post. I thing we are at a tipping point as far as pharmaceutical marketing communication is concerned. This is due to the fact that we live in an increasingly interconnected world, a world where internet and connectivity is ubiquitous. The tipping point is that pharmaceutical marketing communication should be more from a wellness platform rather than disease awareness communication platform. It is being more positive about pharmaceutical products. Instead of showing 'offensive' aspects of a disease or condition like menopause, why not communicate more positively about the wellness of not having fibromyalgia...? It will increase audience connect.

John Mack said...

Sunil,

Thanks for your comments!

I have been trying to contact you about reprinting a couple of your blog posts in Pharma Marketing News. Please send a note to johnmack@virsci.com

John