How DUMB do they think we are?
I have done a lot of research to find out who is doing what about menopause, including women's health groups, the government and the major pharmaceutical companies (and their advertising companies). What I find over and over is the consistent attempt to get our attention and sell us their products by using celebrities as spokespersons.
The most familiar example is the Lauren Hutten commercial where she encourages us to take HRT because she discovered she was "an inch shorter". One of her newest promotional pieces for Wyeth-Ayerst can be found at your local Wal-Mart store. Several people have told me they’ve been handed a free video featuring Lauren Hutton touting the benefits of hormone replacement therapy while visiting their local Wal-Mart Pharmacy. In the video, which is funded by an “educational grant” from Wyeth-Ayerst, Lauren never actually mentions Premarin in a lengthy interview at an unknown location. However, she says estrogen replacement has given her a new lease on life (including her sex life) and she literally scoffs at the idea of considering “natural alternatives.” She and her interviewer also downplay the effectiveness of any new alternatives to Premarin. “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it,” they claim.
Currently, Hutton is the celebrity spokesperson for "Vitality: Health and Wellness for Midlife and Beyond," a national menopause education campaign sponsored by the Sapphire Women’s Health Group, which is also supported through an educational grant from Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories.
Evidently,Vitality has been "discontinued" in place of a new program/site called,"Baseline50", still supported by Wyeth.
Hutton entered menopause early at age 46 and has taken hormone replacement therapy for almost 10 years. As a women’s health advocate, Hutton travels the country talking to women about how she conquered menopause and her secrets for staying healthy, sexy, and vital. Diane Sawyer, 55-year-old co-host of Good Morning America, is using Premarin to ward off "pesky wrinkles." Apparently Sawyer disclosed this fact in a conversation with Lauren Hutton.
But the latest (laughable) celebrity endorsement of a menopause product is Joanna Kearns promoting HEALTHY WOMAN® Soy Menopause Supplement. Read the promotion HERE and please note that she doesn't even ADMIT HER AGE, much less give any indication that she's even peri-menopausal. I have a strong suspicion that they chose her to promote the product because she's NOT in menopause yet. I mean, read her "Lifestyle Tips"......not one suggestion about handling hot flashes or vaginal dryness.
There's just a "sneakiness" about what these companies are doing to promote products to us. To me it's a "truth in advertising" issue. If the celebrities aren't really using the product, or really benefitting from using it, are they just lying for big bucks? Of course they are!! Why don't these companies put REAL WOMEN in their commercials?
Celebrities open up about afflictions for lure of cash
By JEANNIE KEVER
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
These companies would get much further by using their money to provide women with free health checkups and mammograms than by lining the pockets of rich celebrities for "looking pretty" on tv while the company name is across the bottom of the screen in tiny little "disclaimer" type. Use their name to support good causes for women and then I don't care if they shout their name.......at least it's all above board that way and we can decide if we want to try their product or not!
If nothing else, these companies and women could promote Women's Health and Well-being as just a good thing to do!
2003....I haven't seen many celebrities promoting hrt since the WHI reports of last year. See the report below about how they are endorsing many other drugs.
From Dr. Susan Love's website..."Although HRT may be right for some women, the research to date shows little evidence that HRT is playing a key role in disease prevention, while risks associated with its use remain."
Related "Celebrity" article from Salon.com
NATIONAL WOMEN'S HEALTH NETWORK
Doctors Practicing More
MEDIA Than MEDICINE?
Update 2005: I revisted the articles on this page and found that many of them have been changed or removed, so I thought I'd do more research to determine how much has changed in the "Business of Menopause".
Dr. Donnica is one of the major players in this field, except now her "celebrity store" extends the coverage to many more "diseases" and conditions of health. This is from her Press Room:
Welcome to Dr. Donnica's Press Room! Wondering what the print media has to say about Dr. Donnica's work? You can read about Dr. Donnica's activities in the Dr. Donnica In The News segment, or check up on the latest information in the News Releases From Dr. Donnica segment. Browse the lists below and click on a title to read the full article. You can also click here to find out about Dr. Donnica's television appearances, or click here to learn more about Dr. Donnica's daily, nationally syndicated women's health radio report. Reporters interested in interviewing Dr. Donnica Moore regarding this website or any women's health issues, please click here.
TO BE CONTINUED.......