OK, I'm not sure what is pissing me off the most about this. Is it the ad agency for suggesting a transit shelter ad for a pharmaceutical? Is it the client who approved the media buy, or is it the senseless overregulation of the industry that forces all parties concerned to develop this steaming pile of crap that helps no one in the end – not the client, not the agency, and most of all, not the consumer. You know, the one for whom this ad was created in the first place?


Pharmaceutical ads are the Paris Hiltons of the advertising industry. Behind their backs, everyone ridicules them because they're a waste of perfectly good space. In front of them, sycophantic ad agency folks fawn all over them. Why?


Money.


Because no one throws money around in the industry like the pharmaceutical companies. And beause of overregulation, they have to.


The problem is, all that money comes at a price: creativity. If you can find any in a pharmaceutical ad, it's either by accident, or because an ad agency has found a loophole.


Regulations force pharmaceutical ads to list the fine print in every execution. You've probably seen the nice clean ad in People or Good Housekeeping magazine touting the beautiful life you can have with some medication or other. And then, the next page or two is wall-to-wall fine print listing the many ways you could die if you actually took the pill, injection or serum.


Or, even worse, you see the 20 or 30 seconds on TV of blissful life brought to you by the drug, followed by the auctioneer-like voice saying the drug may also cause anal warts, eat away at your pancreas or may cause projectile vomiting during meals.


It's a complex issue, but can jaxstuff possibly have the solution? Of couse we do.


Three words: "Ask your doctor".


Not "tell your doctor," not "inform your doctor," not "challenge your doctor," not "teach your doctor," and certainly, not "change your doctor."


My apologies to the ad agencies making coin hand over fist for these ads, the magazines who charge 3 times the media buy because the ads require 3 times the page counts, and my apologies to elected regulators who are making tons of lobbyist money while they're too stupid to work anywhere else. But you're all jerks.


Pharmaceutical ads are not meant for consumers. They are meant for people who are educated and qualified to understand them. Edna, reading her gossip rag, or Charlie, watching his American talent show, has no business telling their doctor that they need Fuckitol because they saw the ad.
And at the same time, doctors have to relearn how to listen, examine, diagnose and suggest.


And most of all, pharmaceutical corporations have to stop making their undertested snake oil elixers sound like the be-all-and-end-all solution to every ailment, and put their money back into helping people, and not fleecing them.


In the meantime, before all this rewriting of everything evil ever happens, I'm available to write some pharma ads.


Why not? I've done it before.