Pfizer - Puffery Or Deception – Essay Example
Pfizer – Puffery or Deception If the information in the ads is truthful, should it matter that Dr. Jarvik is associated with the development of an artificial heart but is not a practicing physician?
Given that the information in the ads is truthful, using Dr. Jarvik as an endorser of the ads comprise a form of misrepresentation on the basis that he is not a practicing physician. The ads actually have Dr. Jarvik say that “Lipitor is one of the most researched medicines. Im glad I take Lipitor, as a doctor, and a dad." In this case, Dr. Jarvik could be misconstrued as a practicing physician who was under the impression that he can indeed prescribe prescription medicines, like Lipitor, to patients. Since he is a medical scientist and not a practicing physician, this issue and advertising content should indeed matter to consumers.
2. What advertising approaches do you think that Pfizer should take in the future to avoid the kind of scrutiny and criticism engendered by the Jarvik Lipitor ad?
In the future, Pfizer should use testimonials from real patients who benefitted from the drug, Lipitor. It would be more sensational if famous celebrities suffering health conditions could endorse the drug. However, the advertisement must be truthful in all aspects including documenting critical events of the ailments and how Lipitor has changed and improved their lives. In addition, the advertisement must come with a message at the end that reminds patients to see and consult with their doctors prior to taking any form of medications. This would assure customers of Pfizer that the company primarily takes into account their health condition and the need to be extra careful of taking of any medications to improve their health.
3. How might one determine when a company has crossed the line between puffery and outright deception?
Puffery, as defined, are exaggerated marketing claims aimed to spur sales of the product being endorsed. On the other hand, outright deception or deceptive advertising uses statements that will “mislead consumers and affect consumers’ behavior or decisions about the product or service” (Bloch, 2010, par. 26). According to the article, advertising moves beyond puffery into deceptive, or false advertising, if it gives consumers untrue or unrealistic ideas about the product. In this regard, when consumers have filed complaints of not realizing expectations as actually promised by the product or service, then, the company has crossed the line into outright deception.
Bloch, Michael. Lies, damned lies and marketing online. 2010. Web. 13 September 2010.
Pfizer – Puffery or Deception? N.d. Print.