June 22nd, 2012

Health Groups Criticize Allergy Drug Promotion

By Katie Thomas
The New York Times

Public health advocates on Wednesday accused the drug company Merck of improperly marketing an over-the-counter allergy medicine directly to children using animated characters from the movie “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.”

In a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission, the Public Health Advocacy Institute and 10 other groups, called the marketing strategy for Children’s Claritin dangerous and deceptive, pointing to the inclusion of Madagascar stickers in some boxes of the product, the creation of activity books that parents can download for their children and the enlistment of a team of mothers who blog to hold Claritin-themed Madagascar viewing parties for their children and friends.

The group also warned that children may confuse the grape-flavored Claritin tablets and syrup for candy because the same characters are used to promote other children’s products, like candy and gummy snacks.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/health/health-advocates-denounce-mercks-claritin-marketing.html?_r=1

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