In the 50's and 60's families gathered around the TV set at dinner time and were joined with journalistic icons like Walter Cronkite as he and others of his era reported on the days news. Informative, matter-of-factly, little or no hype, and most important, just a smattering of commercials.
Fast forward to the 21st century and tune in to any network nightly news show (with the exception of PBS) and I dare any one to sit down in front of a TV with their kids without having their trigger fingers on the remote off button.
What you'll find is a string of rowdy, sometimes stomach churning, drug commercials portraying sexy 20 somethings talking to you (yes you) about your limp penis, or a concerned looking middle-aged woman droning on about dry vaginas and painful intercourse. An then there's the even more concerned 30 something Millennial lamenting about feeling like he's "passing bricks" every time he needs to take a dump. Not to forget the guy who pees a lot. OMG! WTF!
The message is always the same; "ask your doctor" about drug X-Y-Z, blah, blah, blah.
Then, there's the news? Please! A prime-time family oriented event? Please!
Where's the FCC when you need them? Aren't there rules and regs about content during prime time when kids are watching? Or is Big Pharma one of those "too big to whatever" untouchables?
As many Americans enter rehabilitation centers for prescription drug abuse as for ecstasy, cocaine/crack, methamphetamine, and heroin addictions, according to a recent study from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Too many people have dangerously casual attitudes toward legal medications.
For the general public, TV advertising makes use of these drugs seem like an everyday convenience rather than an important decision worthy of serious consideration. Except for New Zealand, no other country in the world allows manufacturers to market prescription drugs directly to consumers.
And in addition to the serious health-related issues these ads evoke, many viewers find them annoying, distasteful, or just plain depressing. The manufacturers jam-pack prescription drug commercials into certain TV programs, most notably the national network evening news broadcasts.
How lovely it would be to sit back and allow the anchorperson to deliver the latest stories—unpunctuated by reminders that osteoporosis, bladder control problems, and erectile dysfunction lurk in the future. TV-watchers who already take the medications for those conditions might not particularly appreciate being forced to think about them every night at 6:30 either.