PR On Drugs

"Pharmaceutical makers have already found a major loophole in the Food and Drug Administration's new draft guidelines for direct-to-consumer advertising," reports Advertising Age. The guidelines were meant to clarify risk information and increase "disease awareness" spots, those not touting any particular drug. But drug company and ad executives discovered that using the same spokesperson in product and "disease awareness" ads is technically OK. "Even the village idiot is going to make the connection between the disease and the specific product," rejoiced one marketing executive. In related news, PR Week has some advice for drug video news releases: "Always include a physician... use graphics to demonstrate the magnitude of a disorder... [and produce] in the style of television news."