f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

March 14, 2004

Love Those Side Effects

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:58 pm

No, it’s not Sweeps Week, and the topic is neither legal ethics nor haiku. But, I just have to say something about the current advertising campaign for the drug Cialis� in its battle against ED.

embrace black You’ve surely seen the ads: A couple side-by-side in matching, outdoors bath tubs, with a gorgeous sunset, and the catchy phrase, “if a relaxing moment turns into the right moment . . . will you be ready?

The tone and esthetics seem just about right for the medication’s Middle Aged target audience (and their partners). But, I’ve been thinking the lovely scene was merely foreplay for the usually-anticlimactic side-effects warnings.

Normally, pharmaceutical ads end with an annoying rush of speed-talking, cramming in a lengthy litany of warnings about who should not take the drug and the possible side effects. But the Lilly-ICOS-Cialis ad is very different. The voice-over is clear, and the speech slow and calm, working up to the only truly serious side effect to be mentioned:

The most common side effects with Cialis were headache and upset stomach. Backache and muscle ache were also reported, sometimes with delayed onset. Most men weren’t bothered by the side effects enough to stop taking Cialis. Although a rare occurrence, men who experience an erection for more than 4 hours (priapism) should seek immediate medical attention.

stopwatch . . settle for 2 hours?


Did you catch that last side effect? I added the bold here, but I have the feeling that most men (and a lot of their partners) add the emphasis for themselves. Four Hours. And, maybe they next think, “Okay, he said it’s rare, but I’d settle for one or two hours.”


Is this just the same old skepticalEsq cynicism? Could be. But, there are quite a few other warnings that might have been added to that list — e.g., Cialis is not to be used by women or children under 18, or men with certain forms of lactose intolerance. Allergy issues might also exist, along with possible vision effects. [For a full list, see the Lilly ICOS patient information sheet, or the Cialis� website Safety page.]

Prospective users might also want to know that: “Cialis does not work if there is no sexual stimulation. You and your partner will need to engage in foreplay, just as you would if you were not taking a medicine for [ED]”

hazard Of course, if the longer list of side effects were given — as seems to be the norm in most drug ads — the audience just might miss that intriguing 4+ hours warning. Side-effect as selling point. I hope law-firm marketers don’t get wind of this notion.

  • I can’t leave this subject without pointing out the generic name for Cialis� — tadalafil. ta-da-la-fil. “Ta-da, the son!” Is somebody being cute? Ta-da, indeed.

Finally, golfing fans might be edified by the Eli Lilly and Company Press Release (01-23-04), stating that “The Western Golf Association formally announced today that Lilly ICOS’ recently approved erectile dysfunction drug Cialis� (tadalafil) is the new title sponsor of the “Cialis Western Open” golf tournament through 2006. In addition, Cialis is an official partner of both the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour through 2007. ” And, you will surely feel warm all over know that”

According to Lilly ICOS, the sponsorship represents a timely and unique opportunity to educate men in the United States about a significant health issue — erectile dysfunction — and the role of Cialis as the only oral ED treatment option shown to improve erectile function for up to 36 hours in most men.


sleep sign neg “The people who watch and play golf are an important audience to us — specifically men over 40 and their partners,” said Paul Clark, chairman and CEO of ICOS. “The Western Open sponsorship allows us to connect with thousands of golf fans and position Cialis in a meaningful and memorable way.”

At this point in time, there are no plans for priapicEsq to bring up this subject again.

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