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Movie Tie-In To Children's Drug Raises Concerns

06/21/12

  11:26:53 am, by MedBen5   , 186 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription

Movie Tie-In To Children's Drug Raises Concerns

A bit of Marketing 101: Proceed extra-cautiously when promoting children’s medicines.

According to The New York Times, the drug company Merck is catching flack because of a marketing campaign for Children’s Claritin using animated characters from the movie “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.” The Public Health Advocacy Institute and 10 other groups have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, calling the promotion for the allergy drug dangerous and deceptive.

Among the campaign components the group objected to: character stickers included in some boxes; activity books that parents can download for their children; and the enlistment of a team of mothers who blog to hold Claritin-themed “Madagascar” viewing parties for their children and friends.

The group also expressed concern that children could confuse the grape-flavored Claritin tablets and syrup for candy, as the same character are used to promote other children’s products, such as candy and gummy snacks.

Kelley Dougherty, a Merck spokeswoman, said the company was reviewing the matter, but added, “We advertised in appropriate venues to reach those parents of children who may benefit from the use of Claritin, and not to the children themselves.”

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