Don’t dump pharma in with alcohol and tobacco

The saddest thing about the Adweek Web poll on whether pharma companies can be trusted to self-regulate [A&C, July 18] is the framing of the question, which lumps pharma in with alcohol and tobacco. While pharmaceuticals have side effects, their intent is to cure diseases, including many caused by alcohol and tobacco. If the ad industry is this cynical, what can we expect from Congress?

I for one have confidence in PhRMA, the industry’s trade group, to do the right thing. First, it has a track record of enlightened self-interest. Its voluntary guidelines for gifts to physicians, developed with the AMA, forestalled federal regulation of the practice. Second, it is headed by former U.S. congressman Billy Tauzin, who should know that a weak code will invite regulation, especially since Uncle Sam is about to pick up a drug tab of about $70 billion a year via Medicare Part D. Third, the trial lawyers have served notice that DTC leaves the companies open to multibillion-dollar liabilities and will pounce all the harder on a sham code.

Terry Nugent

Vp of marketing

Medical Marketing Service

Wood Dale, Ill.

Why all the fuss over ads like ‘Chilltop’?

I am quite sure that in one of Sergio Zyman’s books, he made it clear that both “Hilltop” and “Mean Joe Greene” were failures as TV spots, inasmuch as they didn’t sell Coca-Cola. Every time I hear hubbub over things like “Cog,” “Grrr” and now “Chilltop” [Critique, July 18], I wonder, “Where’s the beef?” No wonder as a profession, “we don’t get no respect.”

Tim Orr


Barnett Orr Marketing Group

Nashville, Tenn.

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