Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Corrective Ads on Birth Control

I missed blogging about this yesterday because I just got too busy, but the New York Times notes that Yaz, a birth control pill, has been running some rather weird ads lately that "clarify" what the pill does. The ad seems to be a sequel to an ad where women sit around in a club talking about birth control -- don't worry, one of them is a medical student, so she knows about this stuff -- and it depicts one of those actresses issuing a "clarification" for some of the claims Yaz has made.

The thing is, the problem with Yaz's advertising is somewhat systemic of birth control advertising as a whole. Yaz made a point of talking about how the pill made your skin clearer or reduced PMS, rather than touting the pill's primary purpose: to prevent you from getting pregnant. Sarah Haskins did an excellent job of satirizing this phenomenon, but birth control advertising has very little to do with birth control. So, by Yaz making an attempt to bill how the pill has other desirable side effects, the company ended up overstepping its bounds and had to issue clarifying ads. Had the company just stuck with the actual purpose of the pill, they perhaps wouldn't have had to issue an embarrassing correction.

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