The media and marketing news service, Mumbrella, has today described a new “I hate people coughing on my head” campaign.
But there’s a vital ingredient missing.
Strangely enough, there’s no mention in either Mumbrella’s report or the campaign of the serious health concerns that have been raised in recent years about cough medicines, especially for young children
The National Prescribing Service last year put out this press release.
It notes that in September 2008 cough and cold medicines for children under two years were rescheduled to ‘prescription only’. The USA and the UK have introduced similar restrictions in response to reports of side effects, accidental overdoses and lack of evidence that they are actually effective in young children.
The release also cited a recent Cochrane review which found treatments were no more effective than placebo for acute cough in children and adults, however other studies have been less conclusive.
It quoted the authors of an article in the journal, Australian Prescriber, as saying: “Parents should also understand that these remedies will not change the course of their child’s illness, and may cause unwanted side effects such as drowsiness, headaches and vomiting.”
The authors concluded: “Cough and cold medicines must be avoided in children under two years and should not be recommended in children of any age.”
While the Bisolvon website does mention (if you go looking) that some of its products are not suitable for young children, the website – with colouring-in resources for kids – and the campaign’s use of a cartoonish character – reinforces the notion that this brand is in the business of children’s health.
Meanwhile, Palin Communication’s Twitter feed suggests that the media are already “buying” their promotional story line.
All in all, it’s enough to make you sick….