Heart attack. Prostate cancer. Emotional health and depression. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Diabetes and heart disease. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Thyroid Disease. Alzheimer's disease. Peptic ulcer disease. Fibromyalgia.
What do all these medical challenges have in common? They all make people smile. Or so the ProFile (trademark) pamphlets proclaim in every Island Lawton's and Sobey's pharmacies. For each of these afflictions features its' own literature on display on the Lawton's and Sobey's walls of disease. And each of the pamphlets has one, or two, or more people smiling in delight in a cover photograph on these informational documents.
Taken together, all these pamphlets seem to suggest that the happiest people on the planet suffer from one disease or another. Take a look at this wall of smiles next time you visit a Lawton's or Sobey's pharmacy, and you might even hope you could become one of them.
The most joyous of them all is clearly the ProFile (trademark) pamphlet entitled, simply, Diarrhea. This cover photo features an ecstatic mother, grinning a mile from ear-to-ear, lifting what is presumably, her young son. He is also quite happy. Which of them has the diarrhea is not clear, but both are full of ecstasy, nonetheless.
The message, the key message, in all of this, is simply one word: Marketing. For if you suffer from something, anything, a drug from the ProFile (trademark) consortium can make you better, or more to the point, smile. Or as is stated in every ProFile (trademark) pamphlet of the grinning ill, “Always talk with your Profile (trademark) Pharmacist before purchasing any products claiming to reduce the risk of....” (Diarrhea, heart attack, Alzheimer's, etc.)
And this, probably, is why we should all be suspicious. Because a wall of happy people who are suffering from something, or something else, can be transported into happy land if they simply buy the right drug from a certain company, is a curious claim.
Or more to the point: The ProFile pamphlets displayed in our Island pharmacies come with this declaration, on the back page of the smiling afflicted, “The information found in this ProFile(trademark) health brochure is of a general nature only.” But the clear indication is that their drug is the path to relief, and smiles. Marketing.
This wall of smiles of the afflicted, which we will all be at some point, is something that is worth our attention.
Consider this, as an example: Each April, the hamburger chain Wendy's makes a big hullabaloo about its contributions to combat cardiovascular disease. Funny nonsense, when you think about it. Wendy's affect on our population's heart health is well documented as mostly horrible. A few bucks in April is simply shameful, and frankly, dishonest.
Or once again, and more to the point, every burger from Wendy's is loaded with sodium and trans-fats and mostly not a good idea. Yet they offer a dribble (not fat) of cash to combat the disease they enthusiastically create for profit. How silly.
Who is smiling now? The marketers.
- Campbell Webster is a writer and producer of entertainment events. He can be reached at email@example.com