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I want it.... But what does it do?

Competition is tough these days. There are dozens of companies wooing us so we buy their cars, deoderants, and long distance services. The nice thing is, we can identify with these products, because we know what they are. This is not always true of the rash of pharmaceutical commercials.

Case in Point: I was watching a commercial the other day which hinted absolutely nothing about the product. There were shots of people walking through a field, kids playing by a pond, and a host of other quaint familiar scenes. How peaceful, I thought. I was daydreaming about similar happy summer days from my own childhood when that same commercial jerked me back to reality with "CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR". Ouch.

The latest market segment to open to the wonders of television advertising are the pharmaceuticals. If I'm losing hair, having trouble in bed, or can't stop sneezing, they have just the thing for me, and they pilfer narcotics on TV with the same gusto as beer companies. The commercials aren't terribly original or entertaining, but at least they haven't degenrated into something like the "Keyser Medical Pharmaceuticals' CRAZY LIKE A FOX MONONUCLIDE-TETRAHYZINE OINTMENT SALE". I just wish they'd let us know what their product is good for. In some cases I don't know whether to drink the stuff or spread it on my genitals.

What also makes me smile about these ads are the disclaimers. Truth in advertising has its limits, folks, and the FCC is waaaay over the top here making these companies list the possible side effects. I mean, isn't that the job of your doctor, who is prescribing these meds? Okay, I guess I can understand some, but why advertise your product in the first place if you need to include disclaimers like "Pregnant women should not take this medication or come into physical contact with the tablets"? The whole preceding message is lost because you're sitting in front of the TV going, "Geez, I sure don't want that sh*t in my house!"

My other favorite is "May cause abdominal pain and nausea". The commercial is for balding men, and the ad shows some guy (now with hair) with some blonde getting ready to jump his bones. It's gonna be real attractive to her when they're in the throes of passion and he doubles over in pain and runs to the bathroom to throw up!

In summary: The fact that there is a medication for every ailment is great, and we really want to know about them. But PLEASE TELL US WHAT THAT AILMENT IS! Furthermore, if the side-effects are so frightening and horrible that we recoil in disgust, maybe you should concentrate on investing those dollars in R&D instead of airtime on the UPN Network.