Have you seen the recent news? Big Pharma has been using paid actors on the web—hired hands masquerading as “real people” who have been helped by their drugs. This was recently brought to the attention of the Federal Trade Commission by four consumer watchdog agencies that cited dozens of examples in which these deceptive advertising practices are taking place.
For example, some health sites feature what appear to be real bloggers extolling how well a particular drug worked for them. What they don’t disclose is that these aren’t real people at all—but paid actors the drug companies hired to rave about their products. Similar tactics are used on social media sites that are deceptively getting you to “friend” or “tweet” about them, without revealing their Big Pharma tie-ins.
Folks, this shouldn’t surprise you. I doubt the drug companies could find real people that were helped by their drugs who are symptom-free with no adverse side-effects—that were willing to stand up for their products. So, they’ve resorted to shelling out bucks for testimonials. And if people are being paid to rave about your products and services, it should go without saying, buyer beware.
What does this mean for you?
- Don’t believe everything you read online. Many “health sites” are nothing more than veiled advertisements for prescription drugs.
- Be careful about which companies you “friend” online. Many social media sites contain fan pages that appear to be health focused, but are actually funded by Big Pharma. For example, look for a page that includes testimonials and information about a specific drug.
Now it’s your turn: Have you come across this type of deceptive advertising on the web?
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