Ambien Wakes Up To The Bad Press

There’s nothing like a few weeks of TV news horror stories to get a marketer motivated. From Ad Age:

Two weeks after news that taking Ambien could result in binge eating and driving while asleep, sales of sleeping medications began tanking, finally causing Sanofi-Aventis to wake up and advertise the safety of its product. And it looks like rivals won’t be far behind.
The print campaign for Ambien, the $2.1 billion leader in the insomnia category, began three weeks after The New York Times reported March 8 that Ambien was linked to traffic arrests around the nation by drivers who had no memory of getting behind the wheel, and two weeks after researchers at the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Centre and the Mayo Clinic found that some people who take Ambien binge-eat while sleeping.

Frankly, Ambien isn’t the problem. It’s our modern society that’s the problem. The light bulb and electricity have only been around for 125 years or so, and our bodies haven’t adjusted to the changes modern society has wrought. So we don’t get enough sleep, at least not on a natural cycle. Hence, you get things like binge-eating (out of the refrigerator) while sleeping. C’mon, let’s go back to the hunter-gatherer days!

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. c’mon that electric thing ?
    a bit far fetched. Here’s part of the problem. Get some fresh air. Go outside, runaround the block. Ride you bike. Go jump in a lake.
    Shag some balls in the park.
    I know this to be true. It was the secret weapon of old country mom’s pushing perambulators. The babies would all fall asleep in the light of the sun.

  2. Sorry to post again, but I just couldn’t resist sharing the idea I had today: Sleep Camp – A boot camp for the over-extended where they discover the body’s natural balance between sleep and activity. But mostly they just sleep.
    My own little fantasy perahps.
    Sleep Camp Extreme is where concerned family members arrange to have you kidnapped and then taken and forced to chill out and rest.

  3. When the oil runs out, we will be back to hunter-gatherer days. Luckily, I like to fish.

  4. but do you know where there is a clean lake?

  5. i wish they would stiffen up on the advertising of ambien!i don’t think it is as safe a drug as they are promoting it to be!,mark

  6. wm manske says:

    Took Ambien to sleep.
    Sleep walked, woke up on the wrong side of a road when red lights awakened me.
    DUI charge.
    Anyone who takes Ambien after what we now know has to be crazy

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  26. I took 5 mgs. of Zolpidem a substitute for Ambien prescribed by my primary care physician for 10 days. I believe it caused my irregular heart beat to intensify and ended up in the emergency room for a cardio version to get the heart rate back to normal. However, I slept great while I was on it. It’s a dangerous drug!