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Outing naughty and irresponsible ads during cold and flu season

Tylenol

It is time to out a couple of irresponsible ads from the makers of Tylenol and Alka Seltzer.

The woman stands in the middle of a library and surrounded by patrons as she looks sadly up to the camera. Her nose is so raw from her nasty cold that the viewer is almost tempted to offer her another Kleenex. She exclaims how miserable she is with her cold and congestion. Of course the undercurrent message is that if you have to come into work, and then at least be reasonably comfortable (as you infect everyone else with your nasty illness.)

Equally offensive is the sick mother in the Tylenol ad. After it is established how ill feels, she just takes some Tylenol for colds and flu and Walla! –  She is back to entertaining her children! However the real rub is when she high fives her young child. So let me get this straight, if you take Tylenol you are no longer contagious?

Still, another ad uncomfortably places a woman in the middle seat of an airplane. Logged between two unfortunate souls, she will take the medicine so she feels better during the flight. Never mind that by the time they land, those poor passengers have just had their trips ruined because no doubt they were infected by whatever ailed her!

It is time that the cold and flu people get the message: Stop encouraging irresponsible behavior when people are sick! Rather than the woman sitting in the library – infecting everyone around her (yes, she will also no doubt be touching books and keyboards) why not try a more contemporary and responsible approach.

Perhaps her boss could be offering her a bottle of Alka Seltzer as he ushers her out the door to go home and get some rest. She might even be holding a slip of paper which reads, “Authorized paid sick leave!”

Taking this approach encourages responsible company policy and common sense. In the long-run, we all know (and the facts support it) that when people don’t come to work sick then business actually lose less money in the long run.

As for the mom in the Tylenol ad, how about a similar gesture instead of actual hand to hand contact. Perhaps the voice-over might say, “Though taking Tylenol when you are sick may greatly diminish cold and flu symptoms, you should still avoid contact with others ….”

Finally, don’t even put a sick passenger on a plane – not even for an ad, the risk are simply too great!

It is time that the cold and flu people get the message: Stop encouraging irresponsible behavior when people are sick!Alka-seltzer

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