The Rite Aid drug store chain announced that it is once again teaming with the American Heart Association (AHA) to promote AHA's "Go Red for Women" campaign. Rite Aid collects donations of one dollar or more from customers in exchange for little red paper dresses that contain detachable coupons for merchandise. Rite Aid issued a press release touting the campaign and their free "heart health guide" that contains advice on how to prevent heart disease. Absent from the promotion and the press release, and kept quiet by AHA, is the fact that Rite Aid contributes mightily to causing heart disease in women by selling cigarettes.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Pink ribbons abound at department stores, grocery stores, gas stations, shopping malls and many other places. But the big "awareness" push may be misplaced. After all, lung cancer kills twice as many women each year as breast cancer -- more women every year in the U.S. die from lung cancer than from breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers combined. In 2009 alone, 31,000 more women died of lung cancer than breast cancer. But there aren't any ribbons, theme-colored products, corporate promotions, colored car magnets, festivals or fundraisers to make people aware of lung cancer's devastating toll, or to support lung cancer victims or raise money for a cure.
The movie "Eat, Pray, Love" is the story of a woman who travels the world in search of personal fulfillment, enlightenment and love. Despite the noticeably non-materialistic theme, though, Sony Pictures and Home Shopping Network (HSN) inked a deal to use the movie as a vehicle to hype an amazing amount of female-targeted merchandise. In the run-up to the film's August 13 release, HSN staged a three-day shopping event that showcased over 400 "Eat, Pray, Love" movie-related products including kitchenware, teas, jewelry, clothing, spices, shower gel, bed sheets, furnishings and cookware. Moviegoers are invited buy Eat, Pray, Love "I deserve Something Beautiful" T-shirts for a whopping $39.90 apiece, or an "Eat, Pray, Love" Sony Pocket Edition E-Reader with case for $229.95 (in three easy payments), a gelato maker, Sony laptop computers in movie-themed colors, gourmet candies, flat-panel TVs and much more.
In May of this year, the oral contraceptive known as "The Pill" turns 50 years old, and on this anniversary it is worth reflecting on the Pill's impact, and the obstacles women have faced in obtaining and using it.
As smoking rates decline in the developed world, tobacco companies are searching for new markets, and they are finding them in developing south Asian countries, Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia. People in rural areas of Bangladesh see advertisements that are unimaginable in other parts of the world. Ads tell smokers that they are smarter, more energetic and better lovers than non-smokers.
The Roman Catholic Church worked aggressively to get a last-minute amendment added to the newly-passed House health care reform bill that specifically prohibits abortion coverage in insurance plans that receive funding from the federal government.
Heads are spinning after the discredited Senate Finance Committee blocked the public option from being part of the health care bill proposed by Senator Max Baucus of Montana and then voted for spending $50 million on the (also discredited) abstinence-only education program that President Obama had pressed to eliminate from the federal budget.
After receiving six-figure grants from the pharmaceutical company Merck, three medical associations promoted the company's Gardasil vaccine, "using virtually the same strategy that Merck employed in its marketing campaign." That's according to an analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which warned that Gardasil's marketing
In what may be the first case against online astroturfing, New York's attorney general has reached a settlement with a cosmetic surgery company.