The United States of Advertising

From the BBC:

America is, I think, the only country in the world which permits advertising of drugs which are available only through your doctor.

The insidious message is simple; if your doctor is not offering you this drug, maybe you should be asking for it.

Americans do accept advertising in areas where it does not tend to appear elsewhere.

It is not uncommon here for a sports presenter to be required to break away from the main business in hand to draw your attention to the succulence of a sausage or the ruggedness of a truck.

Prescription drugs though are surely different. After all, the whole point of them is that it is not considered safe to let us simply buy them over the counter.

They are so strong or so habit forming that it is up to the doctor to decide that we really need them.

Advertising subtly changes that relationship by sending us in to see the doctor filled with nameless dreads about the symptoms of diseases we might have, and a detailed knowledge of the drugs that might help us.

The TV spots in other words insidiously furnish us with the tools to torture ourselves.

Full Article

And then there’s this:

UK likely to reject TV product placement

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has indicated it will reject proposals from the European Union that would allow broadcasters to raise money from product placements in television.

In a speech on Wednesday, Culture Secretary Andy Burnham said he could understand why the industry wanted to move towards having branded products on the screen — which is increasingly common in the United States — but he could also see the risk.

Full Article

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