Ads for over the counter drugs are worse than those that require a prescription.
“Don’t Rasp Your Throat With Harsh Irritants, Reach for a LUCKY instead,” reads one Lucky Strike Cigarettes ad from the 1930s. It’s almost beyond belief today that a cigarette company could get away with an ad touting its product as beneficial for the throat, but according to a new study, the days of false and misleading commercials are far from over.
Researchers at Dartmouth College, in N.H., and the University of Wisconsin-Madison decided to check up on what drug companies say in their U.S. TV commercials. Their findings suggest a frequent disregard for the truth. Sixty percent of prescription drug ads and 80 percent of over the counter drug ads were found to be misleading or false.
“There were cases of blatant lying, but these half-truths form more than half of our analysis,” said study author Adrienne E. Faerber.