HIV :: Pfizer dares not speak HIV Warning in Viva Viagra TV Ads

US’ Largest HIV/AIDS Healthcare Provider Says Pfizer?s Commercials Recklessly Promote Viagra as a ?Party Drug? by Encouraging its Recreational Use, But Exclude STD and HIV Transmission Warning from Spoken List of Potential Medical Risks

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) criticized Pfizer Inc. for excluding a caution against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV from its verbal medical risk warnings during its newest television advertising campaign for the erectile dysfunction drug, Viagra (sildenafil citrate).

The campaign, titled ?Viva Viagra!? features 40- to 50-something men singing ?Viva Viagra? to the tune of Elvis Presley?s immortal party anthem, ?Viva Las Vegas!?

The ad drew sharp criticism from AHF when it premiered two weeks ago for what the US? largest HIV/AIDS healthcare provider sees as an escalation of Pfizer?s marketing strategy that recklessly promotes Viagra as a ?party drug,? encouraging its recreational use.

Despite this and earlier criticism of its marketing of Viagra, Pfizer has not only continued its reckless marketing strategy, but has also chosen to bury important STD and HIV risk warnings in its latest ad campaign. In the ?Viva Viagra!? ad, the message that ?Viagra does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV? is flashed briefly on screen and is not included in the verbal list of other health warnings, such as the risk of taking Viagra in combination with nitrates, and the potential side effects of the medication, such as vision loss.

?The only inkling one might get that the ?Viva Viagra? ad is for a medication and not for a wild weekend in Las Vegas, is the potential health risk information that is spoken at the end,? said Whitney Engeran III, Director of Prevention and Testing for AHF. ?For Pfizer to exclude information about STD and HIV transmission in the verbal warnings, when all other major health risks are mentioned, is to further shirk its responsibility to protect the public health and to alert the public to the very real?and sometimes life-threatening?consequences of unprotected sex. Shame on Pfizer for attempting to capitalize on Viagra?s ?party drug? image, without taking seriously its responsibility to warn of the potential risks associated with the recreational use of the drug. Shame, too, on the FDA for failing to takes its responsibility to public health seriously and for allowing Pfizer to continue to push the envelope with its ads for Viagra.?

Last year, AIDS Healthcare Foundation criticized Pfizer for running a holiday-themed print ad campaign that AHF believed promoted unsafe sex by encouraging the recreational use of Viagra on holidays such as New Year?s Eve and the Super Bowl. The ads, seen in The Wall Street Journal and The LA Daily News, among other publications, depicted a handsome, forty-ish male grinning knowingly at the camera with taglines, such as ?What are you doing New Year?s Eve?? and ?Be this Sunday?s MVP.? Pfizer continued this irresponsible advertising campaign despite having been forced by the FDA to withdraw its previous ads, which inferred that men could re-capture their youthful vigor and become a devil-horned ?wild thing? by taking Viagra.

Sub-editor

HIV :: Pfizer dares not speak HIV Warning in Viva Viagra TV Ads
by ( Author at Spirit India )
Posted on at 9:38 pm.
Find more from SpiritIndia on: HIV