New Lipitor Ads Mercifully Free Of Fake Doctors

Well, it seems that Pfizer is ready to move on from that embarrassing “Dr. Jarvik is not actually licensed to practice medicine” kerfuffle back in February. The company pulled its Lipitor spots after Congress became very interested in whether or not the ads were misleading the public into believing that Dr. Jarvik was qualified to offer medical advice — and that he was really rowing that boat. Now, theWall Street Journal has a tantalizing preview of the new “Dr. Jarvik Free” Lipitor ad. The spot features a regular person named John — a heart attack survivor who urges you to learn from his example and be more proactive about controlling your cholesterol (with Lipitor, damn it! Lipitor!).

“When we did testing with consumers, what we found out was John really resonated with them,” said Jim Sage, senior director and leader of the Lipitor marketing team at Pfizer.

The Wall Street Journal describes the commercial as “visually similar to some of the Jarvik ads, in that it shows Mr. Erlendson in an outdoorsy setting, biking and picnicking by the water with his wife and son — a notable ad with Mr. Jarvik showed a body double rowing a racing scull across a lake.”

Rather than impress you with his resume (John is actually a talent agent, if you must know), the new Lipitor pitchman encourages you to be smarter than he was. Silly, John. He tried to control his cholesterol with diet and exercise. What was he thinking?:

“Talk about a wake-up call. I had a heart attack at 57,” Mr. Erlendson says in the commercial’s opening, in which he’s filmed in close-up and black-and-white. “My doctor told me I should have been doing more for my high cholesterol. What was I thinking? But now I trust my heart to Lipitor.”

Pfizer Brings Back Lipitor Ads — Without Robert Jarvik
[WSJ Health Blog]
Pfizer Drops Celebrity Pitch in New Lipitor Spots [WSJ via Gawker]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.