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Why Are Viagra Ads OK?

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Guest blogger Christina Montoya Fiedler: If you watch television at all, you know that pharmaceutical companies are all but beating us over the head with advertisements that make us think we have the latest illness or medical misfortune. But there are some that just "stick out" to me, for lack of a better term ....

zestra
Viagra, Cialis and all the other pills that men pop for erectile dysfunction and enhancement are advertised through overly sexualized spots during primetime programming, complete with graphic verbal descriptions. ("Erections lasting more than four hours," anyone?) Why then, are people so uncomfortable with ads for over-the-counter products that promote better sexual satisfaction for women?

Take Zestra, for instance. It's a topical blend of essential oils that is clinically proven to increase arousal and feeling for women. In other words, it does the same thing for women that its counterparts do for men. But Zestra ads have been pulled from the airwaves and certain websites because viewers complained that the content was "too harsh." Seriously? Have you seen some of those Viagra ads?! Zestra's are tame by comparison!

In an interview with the New York Times, Rachel Braun Scherl, the president of Semprae Laboratories, which manufactures Zestra, said,"The Cialises of the world are a perfectly acceptable part of conversation in our culture today, but when it comes to talking about the realities of women's lives, like menstruation, you always have some woman running in the field in a dress. In our experience, we haven't seen women behaving that way. There's a double standard when it comes to society's comfort level with female sexual health and enjoyment."

Moms, what do you think?


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19 comments so far | Post a comment now
ss December 5, 2010, 4:38 PM

I agree that this double standard is ridiculous. It is so blatantly sexist! If ads promoting products that could lead to a 4 hour erection are ok then ads promoting a product to increase sexual arousal for a woman are also ok.

KS December 5, 2010, 5:07 PM

I agree and think it would benefit so many women to know about these products. Without some digging and a competent gynecologist most women aren’t going to come across any of these products.

Gail Cooke December 6, 2010, 8:29 AM

On the other hand, I’m sure that advertisers are worried they will be sued should someone take offense to one of their ads. If I were an advertiser I wouldn’t touch an ad like that with a ten foot pole and an industrial size bottle of hand sanitizer. I’m sure a women’s group somewhere is just dying for them to make an ad so they can rip it apart with their sharpened fingernails.

Christine December 6, 2010, 12:45 PM

I dont really have a problem with commercials for women but I cant stand the commercial for Zestra. It is really irritating and not once do they show a man in the commercial. It seems more like it is for a woman by herself. Women do have these issues and it should be talked about especially if it is ok to get bombarded for mens commercials..

Renae  December 6, 2010, 1:51 PM

Before we call “double standard” I think we should examine the possibility that Viagra commercials might have been pulled from some television programs/websites before. I’m sure it goes both ways.

Anonymous December 6, 2010, 3:34 PM

I would like to see Viagra ads taken out of prime time. They aren’t appropriate for kids.

Marna Gugliotti December 7, 2010, 3:13 AM

Hello. magnificent job. I did not anticipate this. This is a great story. Thanks!

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Regan Southerly December 7, 2010, 4:04 AM

You are a very bright individual!

rbscherl December 8, 2010, 5:49 AM

As the President of Semprae, our goal is provide a safe, effective, clinically proven option to improve their satisfaction. We hear from women every day who find out about Zestra through the double standard coverage. They want to know why they haven’t heard about Zestra through advertising. TV standards are incredibly important to us. As a company, we focus on being authentic, honest and informative about the positive impact of Zestra for women (and their partners.

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David December 9, 2010, 3:56 AM

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