Sunday, August 15, 2004

So it does ... but it doesn't (at least, we don't think so)

So, compliments of an incredibly stupid maneuver Friday I've endured some sort of muscle spasm in my back for the past couple days. Not a comfortable situation, but (with the aid of modern science) one that can be managed ...

... at least, I think it can be managed. Modern medicine's a truly wonderful thing. But, when you cross it with the "wizardry" of modern marketing ... and throw in a dash of "truth in advertising", you get some wonderfully puzzling situations.

Take my back, for instance. My first thought was to anesthesize the problem, and I immediately thought of Doane's Pills (since I remembered an advertisement proclaiming them a back-pain solution). A quick (but calculated) trip (making sure not to move in unplanned or uncomfortable ways) to the local store and I was home with a box. After following the recommended dosage, I was feeling considerably better (given the appropriate time for the pills to dissolve and disperse their active ingredient through my blood stream).

Don't ask my why I went back to look at the box ... maybe it was out of awe at the power of a couple small, white tablets over my thoracic musculature ... I honestly have no idea ... but it least to my current puzzlement.

First off, let's take a look at the box itself:

>One of the first things you notice is the large, yellow "Releaves Back Pain" claim. Excellent, just what I was looking for ...

... except, if you focus in on the paragraph immediately below that claim:

you'll find that, according to the manufacturer, Doane's isn't any more effective (against back pain) than regular aspirin, ibuprofen, or a ball-peen hammer behind the right ear (that's another story ... for now, let's just call it "folk medicine").

Now, I know that, compliments of the disclaimer, everything is "legally" fine ... but I gotta wonder about a society that permits both the claim and the counter-claim discounting it to be part of the same advertisement.

Then again ... we pull the same stuff in the vitamin suppliment industry.