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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19559

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: news

Boniello K
'Face'-off in Prozac ad lawsuit
New York Post 2011 Apr 10
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/face_off_in_prozac_ad_lawsuit_DjgkvxPe8CLJnO1NfX7V7M


Full text:

This actress doesn’t want to be a pill-popper, not even on television.
A Manhattan woman claims pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Company is giving her high anxiety by using her image to peddle Prozac — without paying her a dime.
Gwendolyn Bucci, 55, says she didn’t know she was a citizen of “Prozac Nation” until February, when she discovered her face had been used in advertising for the decade-old antidepression drug without her permission.
“Lilly has refused to acknowledge any unauthorized usage of the images, [and] refused to stop using the images in its commercials,” the auburn-haired beauty alleges.

Bucci, who lives in NoLIta, is also seeking $450,000 in damages in a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit she filed against the company last week.
Eli Lilly did not respond to a request for comment.

 

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Cases of wilful misrepresentation are a rarity in medical advertising. For every advertisement in which nonexistent doctors are called on to testify or deliberately irrelevant references are bunched up in [fine print], you will find a hundred or more whose greatest offenses are unquestioning enthusiasm and the skill to communicate it.

The best defence the physician can muster against this kind of advertising is a healthy skepticism and a willingness, not always apparent in the past, to do his homework. He must cultivate a flair for spotting the logical loophole, the invalid clinical trial, the unreliable or meaningless testimonial, the unneeded improvement and the unlikely claim. Above all, he must develop greater resistance to the lure of the fashionable and the new.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963