There’s Something Wrong


Seems like a bad commercial parody but it’s real!

“Health product” companies dominate primetime TV ads. Many of their commercials feature:

1. Fantasy scenarios with feel-good music, bright, happy colors and high-key lighting.

2. Genial but fast-talking narrators who are required to describe nasty side effects at length at the end of each commercial.

3. Creepy new characters who appeal to creepy new market segments, including “The Zoloft Egg, “ “The Vytorin Relatives” and “Smiling Bob,” whose Enzyte recently lost a class action lawsuit of $2.5 million for “unsubstantiated claims.”

The FDA, the FTC and the FCC all should have roles. Unfortunately, as typified by former FCC chairman Michael “Semicolon” Powell, they are prone to alot of bluster and conflict of interest.

Similarly, CNN’s Anderson Cooper recently did an interesting report on how millions of prescription drugs never approved by the FDA are being sold everywhere. Both doctors and pharmacists plead ignorance.

You can complain about these ads to the FCC at or your state’s Attorney General.

On January 23, Merck and Schering-Plough Corp.’s announced that they are pulling all TV ads for the cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin (“the Vytorin relatives”) because the drug is no more effective than a high dose of one of its components, which is available at a fraction of the cost.

Melissa Davis of Forbes Magazine sheds light on the unraveling of Vytorin.

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6 Responses to “There’s Something Wrong”

  1. Sporty Says:

    So how about if you do an episode of ‘Jerry Time’ as if it was a drug commercial?

  2. okie Says:

    Jerry, I understand the sediment, but you are mixing apples and oranges. Your video example has nothing to do with a drug, drug company, or drug ad. This a nutritional product and these companies get away with even more B.S. in their ads. The prescription drug companies are extremely far removed from these nutritional companies. But do go with that flow…next video on a side-effect you experienced from a highly commericalized prescription drug?

  3. Jerry Says:

    Good point okie, well taken. I think the idea behind the pills is the same. The reason I picked the clip is because it’s grossly inappropriate to me .

  4. okie Says:

    It was not a major issue, but I work for a drug company that makes cancer therapies. We do not mass market our therapies, and we give many cancer patients longer survival with a real quality of life. But the impotence drugs, prostate enlargement drugs, etc., get to be a real annoyance. The nutrional therapies, like the one you have linked and “Smilin Bob”, are much worse. Nutraceuticals have no proven clinical benefits, and their idea of fair balance is extremely small print at the end of their commercials, stating not to be used to treat or prevent diseases.

  5. Marcos Says:

    Hi, Jerry!
    You should know what this companies do here in the third world (or “the emergents”, as people like to call they).
    We are like rats in a laboratory!
    Be clean inside out can be a good idea though!
    You are great!

  6. The Mysterious Case of Smilin’ Bob « OutTakes Says:

    […] reported on this blog back in September 2007, the FCC has irresponsibly allowed untested nutritional supplement companies to flood the primetime […]