Wednesday, February 11, 2015


I was watching a TV commercial recently and it was for a smoking cessation medication. I once was a cigarette smoker and I know how difficult it is to quit smoking. This particular medication was available by prescription only. The disclaimer was unbelievable. Taking this medication could cause all sorts of maladies including, but not limited to, thoughts of suicide. I considered this as I watched the disclaimer unfold. Wouldn’t it be better to smoke than to commit suicide? In fact most of the possible side effects of the medication were much worse than smoking itself. Why would anyone expose himself to such a situation?

The second thought I had was, since this is a medication only available by prescription, why is it necessary to spend the money it takes to advertise on TV? Now I have read that pharmaceutical manufacturers say that their ads are very effective and that they can trace increased sales to the ads they run on TV.

So, are you telling me that patients go into the doctor’s office and tell the doc what medication they should take? Wouldn’t that be a decision better made by the doctor himself? And, if the disclaimer were true, why would any doctor prescribe such a medication? I wonder if the medications we all take might be cheaper if pharmaceutical companies didn’t spend so much money advertising them. Medication decisions should be made by the doctor and not based on TV advertisement.

While we are on the subject, how much do you suppose car insurance companies spend on TV advertising? You cannot turn on the television without being inundated with auto insurance ads. I wonder how their advertising budgets compare with the amount they pay out in claims. I wonder if they work as hard to keep down their advertising costs as they work trying to get out of paying legitimate claims. Also I wonder how much car insurance would cost if they didn’t spend so much advertising their product. Some conspiracy theorists have opined that these large insurance companies spend so much on their ads that they can and do control some of the programming on television. Could be, could be.

Have you seen the recent spate of ads for Obamacare? If this is such a great program, why do we have to advertise it? How much is that costing the taxpayers? I am told that our government also advertises in Mexico the fact that we give out food stamps and free medical care to needy people. Why, if you have to be an American citizen to qualify for these benefits, would we advertise in a foreign country? Isn’t that just asking for trouble?

I understand and am okay with the right of private business to advertise their products. The U.S. Government is not a private business. The “inconvenient”  truth is that Obamacare is bad government policy and no amount of advertising is going to change that.

A final question. Have you had enough of Barack Obama yet? He was sold to us a slick, glib, intelligent, law professor. One thing is certain. He is slick but that’s about it. The advertising was good, but the product left much to be desired. Maybe the message here is, don’t believe the ads. Too bad Obama didn’t come with a disclaimer, but who would have paid any attention to it anyway?

Ron Scarbro

1 comment:

Mike Query said...

Did you see where it cost $ 4.3 million for a 30 second ad during the Super Bowl ? For most companies advertising is the second largest expense fallowing wages.