Take this Zoloft ad, for instance. I'm not belittling anyone that deals with depression (and if you feel personally offended, I earnestly apologize, it wasn't my intent) – but these ads are warped.
Let's look, step by step:
This little dude, who appears to be a WKRP-listener named Molly, is content. She is one with the bee. If looking at a bee makes you smile, you're a Zoloft success story.
Molly has the two factors that make every woman feel happy and complete: a season she likes and male companionship. But this must be pre-bee Molly because for some reason she's not happy. Huh? Doesn't she know that everyone is supposed to be happy all the time? SOMETHING'S WRONG.
Molly's identical twin boyfriend has noticed that she no longer jumps up and down with unbridled joy at his presence, so SOMETHING MUST BE WRONG. And it must be Molly's fault.
I'd like Molly to name one hard-covered book that would talk about Zoloft. Name ONE, Molly. Oh, you can't? I bet I know why – it's because you learned about Zoloft in a magazine, you liar! You just don't want to admit you get your "facts" about a serious medical condition from an ad that was sitting next to an article entitled "How Low Can Your Blouse Go?"
Because our society it so fucked up, Molly and her co-worker, who I have named Droner, talk designer drugs around the water-cooler. What happened to talking about … god what do people talk about around a water-cooler? Survivor? Anyway, naturally, Droner is plugging Zoloft pretty heavily – probably because he doesn't want Molly to just take a break, go on stress leave, and have the boss dump Molly's work on Droner. Ah, yes, Droner has it all down to a science now: Get Molly on Zoloft. Molly keeps working. Less work for to Droner. Droner gets more water-cooler time. Droner hearts Zoloft.
Never in my life have I ever seen a doctor wear one of those head things besides in episodes of The Flintstones. Is it an egg? Is it a head lamp? Is he spelunking (maybe he’s Molly’s gyno?)?
Why is this all about the doctor and the boyfriend noticing a change in Molly? What does Molly think? Hey, Molly. Molly! MOLLY! Yes, you. Tell me; are you one with the bee?
Yarg. That is SUCH as Sex and the City finale.
It looks like Molly got a happy ending, but when I turned the page, it seems as though there's actually a director's cut to this story:
BAM! Holy crap. I won't summarize all of it, but it seems like there was a lot more to Zoloft than Molly’s story cute-sied up for us. Suicide, infertility, 'abnormal bleeding' (as opposed to the everyday bleedings, I suppose?), seizures … man, I can see why Droner didn't mention those things to Molly.
What's that? Droner didn't know all the facts on Zoloft?
Geez, despite all of Droner's wisdom, maybe he didn't actually know what he was talking about. Now that you mention it, Droner isn't all that qualified to diagnose a condition and recommend a specific drug for it … isn't he the guy that takes, like, five water-cooler breaks a day? But he somehow knew all of Zoloft’s key messages … Just like Molly (and me! And you!), I bet he learned about Zoloft in a magazine … Hmmm, maybe drug companies shouldn't be advertising drug options to everyday people because ….? Because?
Oh, right, everyday people don't know shit about pharmaceuticals. What everyday people do know lots about is shopping, and when a consumer decides they need something, they'll ensure they get it. Perhaps, like Molly, they'll find out more facts on their own, self-diagnose and then insist to their doctors that they need said drug (who do we really think brought up Zoloft first in the doctor's office, hmm? Maybe Zoloft-hungry Molly?). Oh, Pfizer, how crafty of you!