Essay on Drugs, Money, Media and Advertising

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Drugs, Money, Media and Advertising Ads for pharmaceutical drugs are everywhere. They are in magazines, on television and radio, on billboards, and on the little bags that you get from the pharmacist. These days it is difficult to get away from all the drug advertising. All these ads are for products that require a doctor's prescription. The goal of advertising is to increase profits. By advertising so heavily for drugs that the majority of the population does not need, pharmaceutical companies attempt to create as large a consumer base as they can. In advertising directly to the consumer, the drug companies accomplish two objectives. First, they get information directly to the consumer. Second, they promote the product and…show more content…
Doctors often prescribe these drugs to those who have allergy-like symptoms without checking for particular allergies (Francis, 2001; Swanson, 2001). With so many commercials that tout the drugs as relieving symptoms and causing few side effects, many people are lulled into thinking that no side effects exist. The public is bombarded by images of happy people in fun and relaxing situations. They show what life could be for those who take these drugs. Lulled into a false sense of security by all these marketing tactics, why wouldn't people go see their doctors and ask for these drugs? Ken Sanes (2000) gives a detailed description of a Claritin commercial and talks about its symbolism. This particular ad featured a hot air balloon and people enjoying an elaborate picnic in a field, after which they took a ride in the balloon. The website describes the ad as contrasting "the feeling of being trapped and weighted down, . . . with a floating hot air balloon and an upbeat song about blue skies." Sanes also claims that the commercial goes beyond selling the image of the good life and suggests that, "by using the product we will achieve transcendence from the weighted down world of mundane life. After all, the qualities depicted in the commercial - clarity of vision, joy, a feeling of weightlessly escaping the hold of the material world." The commercial may not be blatantly trying to
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