Is it Dysfunctional to advertise Erectile Dysfunction Products during NFL Coverage?

Should the NFL allow controversial advertisements during prime time?

If you ever have watched much NFL football on TV (National Football League), it’s inevitable that you will see commercial ads for erectile dysfunction. You know, Pfizer advertising the wonders of Viagra and Eli Lilly marketing their own product, Cialis. I believe Pfizer was the first company to advertise this product on commercial TV on Sundays although Eli Lilly has gotten into the competitive ring several years ago.


During a typical NFL game, which may consume 200 miles from start to finish, there are about 80 minutes of commercials – about 40% of the game involves commercial interruptions. If the length and frequency was not enough, are there some commercials not ready for prime time?


Mind you, I’m not opposed to all commercials. In fact, some are cute, entertaining, and some are so entertaining that sometimes viewers prefer them to the action on the field. Regarding the more controversial commercials, is the NFL on Sunday afternoon the right time and place for such ads?


From an old school perspective, I remember ads years ago marketing hard alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, and cigars – they are obviously prohibited today on commercial TV but not ads for erectile dysfunction pills? Is this not incongruent? Should NFL broadcasts advertising Viagra or Cialis should come with a PG 13 rating? Digressing for one moment, could we not carry this principle to violent TV shows advertised during NFL games and stipulate these ads carry a similar rating?


Getting back to the blue pill, is Eli Lilly trying to fill a medical need for those poor men who struggle with a dysfunctioning erectile gland? Would the cynical side of those opposed say this is strictly capitalism?


Ultimately, a warning is included when advertising the blue pill, “Ask your doctor if you’re Ok for sexual activity.” Would these drug companies make the same claim if sexual activity did not involve other people?


If you listen carefully to the ad, you hear the statement, “Ask your doctor if you’re Ok for sexual activity.” Do Pfizer and Eli Lilly think that all men with this condition have an intimate relationship with their doctor? How many men, who may benefit from medical science, are fortunate enough to have continued insurance coverage, which may enable them to develop a relationship with their physician over the years?


Perhaps they should say, “If you know your doctor, please ask them if you’re OK for sexual activity.” If you don’t know your physician, perhaps tell them you’re considering taking the “blue pill,” and you’re wondering if you’re healthy enough to do so. Perhaps Pfizer could provide some job aids or cue cards to help some men broach this subject with their doctor.


Better yet, ads for more mature audiences should not be shown during prime time television. If the subject is more mature in nature, don’t advertise during primetime.


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