Drugs on the Market, Scrappage Update, Etc.

When prescription-drug ads urge you to “ask your doctor,” they’re likely not proposing a chat about cheaper options. Yet, such discussions are common, finds a Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Health-Care Poll. Seventy percent of adults said a doctor prescribed a drug for them in the past year. Forty-three percent talked with the doctor about the “pros and cons of different drugs he/she might prescribe”; 23 percent said these discussions included “the different costs of different drugs.” Fourteen percent ended up with a particular drug because it was less expensive than the alternatives.

Not yet resigned (like their elders) to physical shortcomings, young folks are famously self-conscious about their bodies. Some traits cause more angst than others, as noted in an online poll of 13-21-year-olds for Alloy Inc.’s Beats Per Minute newsletter. For girls/young women, the stomach (cited by 24 percent) is the locus of self-consciousness, ahead of weight (20 percent), complexion (14 percent), thighs (13 percent) and chest (8 percent). The boys/young men are less focused in their anxiety. More than one-third answered “don’t know” or “none of the above” when asked which of various factors makes them most self-conscious. Of the other choices, top vote-getters included the stomach (12 percent), weight (10 percent), height (8 percent) and complexion (8 percent).

I told you not to e-mail me at home! An Internet cafe in Toronto will win a following among wired philanderers with the cautionary ad shown here. Playing to the mouse- potato segment of iKlick’s target audience, another ad in the series says, “We’d sponsor a neighborhood team, except we don’t believe in fresh air and exercise.” Axmith McIntyre Wicht of Toronto created the ads.

Life expectancy is rising for cars. In an R.L. Polk & Co. analysis of what’s known in the trade as “vehicle scrappage rates,” the data show just 5.2 percent of cars going to the junk yard last year. By contrast, the rate in 1970 was 9.5 percent. As recently as 1990, it was 7.2 percent. As the research firm notes in its discussion of the data, cars are simply more durable than they once were. This is also reflected in the rising median age of the nation’s passenger-car fleet—now 8.6 years old, vs. 7.5 in 1994. The median age of light trucks is lower, at 6.5, reflecting the many SUV purchases in recent years.

But what if your friends are celebs? In an Allure survey, women age 18-54 were asked to assess how they’re influenced when choosing beauty products. Just 5 percent are moved by a celebrity endorsement. Nearly half (48 percent) said they make purchases based on recommendations by family and friends.