Last week, Bob Jarvik was front-page news. You may recall that the celebrated physician, known for inventing theartificial heart, became the focus of attention because he isn't licensed to practice medicine. As a result, he can't write a prescription for Lipitor, the best-selling med that Pfizer pays him a reported $1.35 million to promote in widely circulated televisions ads.
Then we learned that, even though Jarvik looks good in one of those ads rowing across a beautiful lake, it wasn't really him in that boat. The ad agency used a sit-in. The revelation further whet the appetite of one Congressional committee, which is investigating pharma's use of celebrity spokespeople. Given the debate over DTC advertising, we wondered whether Jarvik was hurting the brand amid accusations that the ad is misleading.l
So we asked you whether Pfizer should dump Jarvik? A hefty majority says 'Yes.' Mind you, this is not a scientific poll. But the results may be a useful temperature reading. If nothing else, the episode suggests Jarvik may not be doing much to help the brand.
Question: Should Pfizer Get Rid of Dr. Jarvik?
Yes - 218 votes, or 69 percent; No - 98 votes, or 31 percent.
Number of respondents - 316