Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kate Is Again Flummoxed By Drug Advertising

I don't think it's any secret that I am often critical of and sometimes baffled by direct-to-consumer drug advertising. I have railed again DTC advertising before. And then I reveled in the delicious awkwardness of the Yaz ad retraction. And I still don't get what's up with the whole Cialis campaign. How exactly are you supposed to have sex with someone who is in a separate claw-foot bathtub? I'm pretty sure at least one of you will have to leave your tub. And have you ever tried to get out of a claw-foot tub? I lived in an apartment with a claw-foot tub for two years. When you get out of a claw-foot tub, you are not thinking about looking sexy. You are thinking about not falling and cracking your head open on the sink or the tile floor. Although maybe when your tub is in the middle of a grassy knoll overlooking a picturesque valley, the landing is a little softer.

Anyway, the latest drug to make me furrow my brow is Beyaz. Yes, it turns out Yaz has a cousin.

Why does Beyaz baffle me? First of all, Beyaz is only one letter away from "bedaz" which I assume is the noun form of the verb bedazzle. But, more to the point, Beyaz is a birth control pill with folic acid. You know who needs a lot of folic acid? Ladies who are preggers.

Let that one sink in for a second.

I struggle to understand the intent. As far as I can tell, it's "Beyaz is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy! But, um, just in case it's not effective, aren't you super excited that the fetus you didn't want will get all its Vitamin B?" That seems like a pretty weak consolation prize. Especially given the price of brand name birth control. I'd be willing to bet that, from a cost-effectiveness perspective, you're a lot better off popping generic BC and a Centrum (or a generic folic acid supplement, while we're at it).

And can you think of any other drug that does anything like this? It's not as if you go to get a flu shot and they hand you a can of chicken soup on your way out, in case you get the flu anyway. I mean, obviously no preventative pharmaceutical is perfect, and oral birth control is especially prone to user error that compromises the effectiveness. But it seems really strange to make your product's potential failure into a selling point. Or maybe it's scathingly brilliant, and I just don't get it.

Whatever. As long as your boyfriend/husband/guy-you're-kind-of-seeing stays in his own bathtub, you don't really have to worry about it.