Sunday, January 11, 2009

Reasons to be Grateful for the Death of Free TV: #1 -- Drug Ads

The current ubiquitous form of drug pushing directly to television viewers was illegal until 1997, and now we can't imagine watching the nightly news (on anything other than PBS) without an unending parade of blue, purple, yellow, pink and chartreuse pills about which we're supposed to ask our family physicians if we want to drive convertibles, ride mountain bikes, and walk through flowery meadows all day before having satisfying (VERY satisfying) sexual activity and a good night's sleep every single night. Now we're a nation of hypochondriacs, because drug advertisers (like all advertisers) know that their most effective sales weapon is fear.
The ads are so ubiquitous now (the picture above was a random sampling from tonight during the national news half-hour on NBC and ABC), that it's probably hard for most Americans to believe that only two nations, New Zealand and the United States, have decriminalized this type of direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs, and that the current form of advertising has only been permitted since very late in the last century.

These ads are only one reason that I'm looking forward to my analog screen going dead in just a little over a month.

No comments: