Big Pharma advertisement “educates” consumers with gibberish

A new Viagra commercial doesn’t want you to understand the product — just buy it. As the New York Times reports:

The ads feature middle-aged men and women talking in a made-up language, save for one word.

‘Viagra spanglecheff?’ says a man to a friend at a bowling alley.

‘Spanglecheff?’ his friend asks.

‘Minky Viagra noni noni boo-boo plats!’ the first man replies, with a grin that suggests he is not talking about the drug’s side effects. The ads end with the slogan, ‘The International Language of Viagra.’…

Maxine Thomas, an executive at Taxi, the agency in Toronto that produced the campaign, said the ads take advantage of Viagra’s name recognition. “It’s not as though we need to tell people what it does, because they already know,” she said. “Consumers can fill in the blank for themselves.”

This ad has gotten widespread attention, we believe, because of its sad symbolism. The pharmaceutical industry spins itself silly trying to convince us that DTC advertisements serve an important educational role for consumers — and then they put this kind of crap on TV.

Truly infuriating — particularly when you consider the public good those billions of wasted advertising dollars could be doing in areas such as R&D and lower retail drug prices.

Keep buying online, folks. Clearly, Big Pharma has no interest in giving you price relief; you’re going to have to go out and get it for yourself.

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