April 30, 2007

do you speak viagra?

I came across this article in the business section of The New York Times today.

How much sexual innuendo can an advertiser pack into 15 seconds? Pfizer, the world’s largest drug company, offers an answer in a new campaign for Viagra, so far shown only in Canada. 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.”

But wait, aren't we talking about a prescription drug here? Shouldn't you state what it does and what its side effects are? Apparently not:

In the United States and Canada, drug companies can advertise medicines without discussing side effects, as long as they do not mention the condition the drug is supposed to treat. Such spots are called “reminder ads.”

What a minky boo-boo.



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