The ad begins with the camera showing a set of musical toys dangling over a babyâ€™s cot and then moving to show the cot empty followed by a flash of writing saying the baby has died due to not being vaccinated. The ad then urges parents to vaccinate their young children. â€œI donâ€™t like this type of advertising. It made me feel that my children will die without the vaccine,â€ says Sarah Muhammad, a mother of two two-year-old twin boys, tells The Arab News.
A Wyeth spokesman matter-of-factly tells the paper: "Children are annually dying because of diseases related to pneumococcal bacteria like pneumotitis and meningitis. The vaccine reduces the chances of catching them.â€
The Health Ministry hasn't yet decided whether the vaccine is compulsory for parents to secure birth certificates for their children. â€œIt is only a promotional campaign for a new product. However, itâ€™s not a life and death issue. Sometimes these adverts are presented in an inappropriate way that scare people,â€ Khaled Marghalani, an official Health Ministry spokesman, tells the paper.
A similar reaction occurred this past spring among moms in Poland, where authorities banned a Prevnar ad for not complying with the country's Pharmaceutical Act after deciding it was designed to provoke fear in order to attract potential customers.
So we'll share the same thought we had then: Nothing like a subtle marketing tactic to convince the public to bang down the doctorâ€™s door. Is it that much to ask of a marketing team to show a little good taste?