The First Rule Of Lipitor Is: We Don’t Talk About Lipitor!

From Ad Age:

Although Pfizer has not yet selected an agency for its $110 million Lipitor account, the pharmaceutical maker today introduced an unbranded campaign for high-cholesterol awareness.
The push, from Omnicom Group’s Unit 7, New York, will feature spots that run on broadcast and cable TV using the tagline “My Heart Now.” The commercials will drive consumers to a Web site,

While pharmaceutical advertising is the bane of TV viewers, and a boon to stand-up comedians, the work will get more bizarre, and perhaps much more sinister, if drug companies start going “underground”–that is, not identifying their product and not revealing much about it.

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. The reason they do this sort of thing is because then they don’t have to read out that humorous list of “possible side effects” (may cause heart pain, anal leakage, and massive bleeding, but hey, it’ll relieve your cold symptoms). As soon as a pharma commercial makes any claim at all, they have to read that list. So, they just avoid saying anything at all.

  2. Greg Zirkle says:

    An amusing FYI from a pharma “insider” regarding all the disclaimers pharma ads must contain… Cialis and Levitra did not have to disclose the “4-hour erection” warning in their ads. The percentages are way too low.
    If you recall Viagra’s prior advertising, that side effect was never mentioned even though the potential is the same as the other drugs. Levitra and Cialis put it in there not as legal disclaimers but to accomplish exactly what it did — generate discussion and create the perception of powerful effectiveness.
    You’ll notice that in later Viagra ads, they added it too just to remain “competitive.”
    When you’ve got a side effect like that, there’s little motive to go “underground!”