The Ad Industry On Drugs

This article in Ad Age talks about the FDA’s recent decision to pull ads for Levitra and Zyrtec off the air due to misleading claims.
What’s interesting here is that pharmaceutical companies seem to be doing what other comsumer marketers used to do, and have been trying to get away from: make claims of superiority, or “puffery” if you will, and bash the competition in the ads.
As long as pharmaceutical marketing is legal, it’s going to be big business.
Is there a way to do it compellingly, and legally, without
a) making bogus claims
or
b) showing dewy meadows, happy couples, and listing every side effect in the world?

About Dan Goldgeier

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. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.