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Advertising news in brief

Our weekly round-up of healthcare advertising stories.

DoH pressures Ofcom

The Department of Health has outlined its expectations with junk-food advertising to children in a new statement to Ofcom. It said that companies selling high-fat and high-sugar foods would still be able to advertise them to adults, who can make an informed choice for themselves. ìThey will not be able to do so to three-year-olds, who can't reasonably be expected to make that kind of decision for themselves,î said the report. It added that Ofcom would consult the broadcasting and advertising industries to tighten the rules on broadcast advertising. ìAt the times of day when children are most likely to be watching television, promotion of unhealthy food will not be broadcast.î

Lemsip ad pulled

An ad for Lemsip's Cold and Flu Sinus 12-Hour that was set on a plane has been banned after a complaint that the product contains an ingredient that is prohibited by cabin crew. A viewer complained about the ad, saying it contained pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, which has side effects such as hallucination and anxiety. The advertiser said it intended to use the aeroplane setting to ìhumorously demonstrate the product's duration of actionî and was not aimed at cabin crew or those using the aircraft, who it believed would be aware of the specific risks posed to them by proprietary medicines.

Ad expenditure rises

Advertising expenditure in the UK rose by 5.4 per cent to £18.4 billion in 2004 says the Advertising Association (AA). This growth represents the strongest annual increase in UK advertising expenditure for four years. The press represented the largest share of total advertising expenditure with 47.8 per cent, and television accounted for 25.8 per cent. Direct mail costs were 13.4 per cent, outdoor advertising 5.4 per cent, radio 3.3 per cent, internet 3.2 per cent and cinema 1.0 per cent. Television was the biggest medium with a 33.9 per cent share with the press taking second place at 31.4 per cent.

Warnings scare patients

Mentally ill patients in the US are too scared to visit their doctors following warnings that their medication - known as atypical antipsychotics - could be harmful for them. The adverts are an example of what doctors say is a growing national problem of alarmist and misleading claims by lawyers seeking new clients. Attorneys use the ads to claim that such products such as Eli Lillly's Zyprexa, Johnson & Johnson's Risperdal, and Astra Zeneca's Seroquel can cause diabetes and even complications that lead to comas or death. The adverts include ìurgent warningsî and flashing lights behind the drug name, offering potential compensation to anyone who may have suffered ill-effects.

2nd September 2008

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