Advertising prescription drugs

Kevin Connolly has produced a brilliant piece for the BBC’s “From Our Own Correspondent” programme, titled “The United States of Advertising“.  It describes brilliantly the strange world that I experience every time I watch television over here, the fact that on this side of the pond it is legal for pharmaceutical companies to advertise prescription drugs to you.  It is a kind of ‘Yes, you can only get this drug with a prescription, but if you’re not getting it maybe you should ask for it next time you see your doctor!’ advertising, and very different to the “no direct comparisons, Brand X only” approach to British advertising, or the commercial free television of the BBC I grew up with in the ’70s and ’80s.

The reason I suggest you read it is because not only does it offer a fascinating insight into the strange idea of advertising prescription medications on television, but it also describes one of America’s best snack foods…

…beef jerky, an American food whose classiness you can judge from the fact that it is mainly found in petrol stations.

You could make it yourself at home by cutting a tough, thin steak into tiny strips and leaving them on a sunny window ledge to dry when you went away for your summer holiday.

That should give you the very essence of jerky – dry and rubbery at the same time, and chewy – like Bovril-flavoured lino.

You can read a transcript, or listen to the show in full, via this page from the BBC Website.


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