Dr. Andrew Weil has an osteoporotic bone to pick with Sally Field

Posted on Mon Aug 24 2009

You like me. You really ... oh, you don't? Sorry, Sally Field, but Dr. Andrew Weil really doesn't like you. In his latest missive for The Huffington Post, titled "Should You Get Your Drug Information From An Actor?," the advocate of integrative medicine criticizes Field's involvement in direct-to-consumer ads for Boniva, an osteoporosis drug from GlaxoSmithKline and Roche Laboratories. That launches him to the rest of the piece, which protests DTC marketing for pharmaceuticals in general. But the mere mention of the actress was enough to incite some funny comments from readers, whose defense of Field is disproportionate to her word count. "Sure, why not?" one commenter writes as an answer to the article's title. "She had me believing that nuns can surf then fly and also go on strike. Now I believe whatever she tells me about Boniva and the bones and good stuff like that." There aren't any direct attacks against other people in Weil's previous HuffPo articles, so perhaps Field just caught him at a bad time. But a doctor who looks like Santa Claus versus the actress who played Sybil, a woman with multiple personalities? I would pay to see the cage fight.

—Posted by Elana Glowatz

Will the real Wynonna Judd, supersize or not, please stand up?

Posted on Tue Mar 24 2009

Sing7

It's one of the most reliable ways to market a weight loss product: show "before" and "after" photos of the subject, with the former being a supersized version of the svelte latter. Throw in some extra sculpting via Photoshop, and voila! Dramatic results!
  But in Wynonna Judd's campaign for GlaxoSmithKline's Alli, which is which? A blog called Pharma Marketing asks, rather indelicately, if the country singer's image has been altered so she appears somewhat slim on the cover of her new record, Sing, while she looks considerably heavier in ads and promotional materials for the over-the-counter diet aid. (The CD is a gift with purchase of Alli. Some 200,000 copies are being packaged with starter kits and refills of the product this spring.) If the record photo is the "after," then Alli has a really strong hook. It works! Judd has said, "I hope that I can inspire people to be better ... that they can see themselves in me and say, 'If she can do it, I can do it.' " But did she do it without a digital nip/tuck? Only the tour will tell.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Todd Rundgren sells 'Hello, It's Me' for ... a Tums commercial?

Posted on Fri Mar 20 2009

Tums is causing some upset stomachs these days, not relieving them, with a new commercial for Tums Dual Action that features the earnest '70s pop ballad "Hello, It's Me" by the much-revered singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren.
  In my ongoing tally of egregious misuse of famous songs in advertising, this is a particularly unsettling addition. (I've searched online for the spot, so far without success, so this 1973 footage of Rundgren singing the tune will have to suffice for now.) Tums, as you might recall, has moved out of the diner, where it used to set most of its ads, starring people who had scarfed down chili, fries and other greasy-spoon fare and quickly regretted it. The marketer more recently tapped the iconic animated family The Jetsons (George's hectic life gave him heartburn) as a way to sell its instant-dissolving powder QuikPak. According to the new TV spot, some guy with a weak tummy can dig into a big pizza, as long as he takes the GlaxoSmithKline antacid. Hence, the tender love song in the background? Disturbing, because Rundgren has always seemed to be more concerned with artistry, even if it is soft rock, than with hits in his solo career. Now, he's licensing his tune about longing and loss, and the bile is rising.
  Quick, get me a Rolaids.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley


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