keep them teenagers happy?


a 16 year old boy received prozac by mail - direct marketing seeking to chill ot targeted teenagers?

"I was livid," said the boy's mother, Sue Grinstead of Palm Beach. "My son knew enough not to take it, but what about the other kids?"

Eli Lilly has also apologized for the mailing, which it believes reached less than 150 people. The Indianapolis-based drug giant said the campaign was not an official promotion and it is trying to determine exactly who is responsible. Several Eli Lilly employees in Florida have been suspended with pay, the company said.

The mailings at first appeared to target people who were already taking an antidepressant and who might then switch to Prozac. However, Michael's mother said he had never been prescribed such a drug or even been treated for depression.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (5)

  • Dabitch's picture

    I saw this on 60 minutes (they show it at midnight here once a week) actually.. The 16 year old boy and other Prozac recipients. Apparently the marketing division had invented a "win-win-win" sales pitch, The patient gets free medication, the medic get 1 actual sale and the Doctor could be perceived as hero-interested-in-patients-wellbeing when giving away a sample to their patient. There was just one catch..
    Most of the doctors wanted nothing to do with this campaign, and information about their patients had been obtained by other means .. Not all the information gathered by the marketing guys was correct.. So in the end patients who have never been on medication stronger than Tylenol received
    Prozac, patients who experienced side effects on regular Prozac received samples of Prozac weekly ... Prozac isn't a toy - it can kill people who really shouldn't be taking it...

    the makers of prozac are of course, distancing themselves from this campaign. They even fired one of the more successful marketeers who was doing the legwork. Since he received so many "attaboys" while he was doing the legwork, he's taking them to court over his dismissal.

    To be honest I hope he gets something out of that, I'm getting might tired of big companies knowing full well what their marketing dept is doing - pretending they don't and firering the guys who followed orders. It's just bad on so many levels.

    Mar 11, 2003

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