Gary Schwitzer, professor of media ethics and health journalism at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication, has called attention to an article in the Oregonian in which Sally Field was allowed to sing the praises of osteoporosis drug Boniva without any kind of disclosure that Roche Therapeutics is paying her to do so.
[The Oregonian] ran a story that proclaimed that "Actress Sally Field joins the women who are fighting osteoporosis with medicine, supplements and exercise." Not surprisingly, there was an overt plug for a drug: "Field chose to take Boniva, a once-a-month medication from Roche Therapeutics." And the paper let her get away with this: "I feel it's kind of a miracle."
I'm so glad Schwitzer is calling attention to this. Sally Field can't just go around throwing references to Boniva and how it's changed her life without telling people she works for them. I know it's hard to miss the Boniva commercial featuring Sally, but some people may not know she's the spokesperson.
This whole ad campaign leaves a foul taste in my mouth. She writes a "journal" on the Boniva website in which references to Boniva are not-so-gracefully mixed in with talk about her day to day life. Here's a quote from her June entry:
This month, the whole family is taking a trip together to Hawaii ... I’ll be packing for fun, which means plenty of exercise to keep my bones strong. And I won’t have to pack a load of medication since just one Boniva® (ibandronate sodium) Tablet will help protect my bones for the entire month.
Well, isn't that special!
Related Entry: Rally with Sally Field and Boniva