Ads for Diabetes products and meds

Am I the only one who gets frustrated by these ads? Every ad shows overweight people. That kind of advertising just perpetuates the myth out there that being overweight causes diabetes, ergo all people with diabetes must be overweight. As a fit type 1, I still get the comments about just losing weight and I wouldn't have it. I would love to see an ad where either a fit or average person was the "diabetic person" in the ad. Anyway, I contacted Levemir - they were the ones with the ad that spurred me to say something.

Or... am I just too sensitive?!?! Thanks for letting me vent.

Put gently as I can, yes, you're too sensitive (you asked!).

I agree with your misgivings when we're talking about dissemination of information about diabetes, or the ignorance of the average Joe in seeing diabetes this way.

For an add for Victoza, for example, I don't expect them to behave any differently than any other business -- advertise and target your biggest market.

I'd say there's a very good chance that stats show that to be overweight T2s, by a large margin.

It's all about advertising and hitting your target audience. But, yes, it's annoying. The average person thinks ALL diabetics are old and fat.

Biggest market - pun intended? I just think that ads for insulin that show overweight people also perpetuates the myth that insulin makes a person gain weight. And what's wrong with showing people with diabetes who are fit? After all, people with diabetes come in all shapes and sizes.

But Dave---it implies that being overweight Causes our scourge. There is more and more evidence that it is the other way around---the development of insulin resistance is just as likely to be the Cause of gaining weight. This is also important to know because many T2s go undiagnosed for years----so they are gaining weight for years.

You are not the only one who gets frustrated by the ads, but you do get frustrated about a lot.

No argument with either of the points both of you make above.

I'm just saying that you are being unrealistic to expect an advertisement to be a vehicle for public education about diabetes.

Those 30 seconds cost the drug company a lot to air. Since the purpose of the ad is to sell Victoza/Byetta/etc., they are going to craft the ad in whatever way their marketing dept determines will catch the most attention from those with the greatest chance of becoming customers.

While I haven't done the market research myself , it strikes me as very believable that such research would reveal that the biggest, most attentive market for diabetes treatments is fat T2s.

(BTW, I'm an overweight T2 myself -- need to drop about 30lbs, and that would not leave me a paper-thin waif either).

That wasn't nice.

For the record artwoman, I don't think you get frustrated excessively. But then, maybe that's because I get frustrated a lot myself

I honestly understand it for the victoza commercials and for type 2 specific drugs, I don't love it, but I understand it. For insulins though I wish they'd include more diverse users , not just older (sometimes overweight) individuals we can assume are type 2's. Not to say they shouldn't be included but I think there should be younger people as well, even if it means using younger adults...I'd volunteer if they paid me enough come on Novo nordisk.

Oh I try to tune out whenever a diabetes product ad comes up. Others that annoy me are BG meter adds that imply if you would just switch to their brand all your problems would be over!

That sums it up nicely, Tiki. I get it, Dave. One of those deep, dark secrets in my family---LOL----but I actually do have to be careful at times in what circles I mention it---is that the ad biz kept a roof over my head and food on our table for the 50s and 60s. It was a different time, though. My dad, the ad exec, was a great hearted, loving man (in spite of bequeathing me his diabetes)and he and mom struggled financially to put 3 of us into good colleges. It was fun for us as little kids, though. One of his major accounts was Betty Crocker and we got to be a test household for cake mixes (I remember a German Chocolate cake) and things like those first pizzas where you whacked the container and it popped open......

Decades later, one of many odd jobs I worked to support my dancing in the early years was as a sort of assistant wardrobe person on ad shoots---I remember one with Will Vinton characters selling kraft mac and cheese---2 kids in T shirts. Not a lot of work for me! But I got paid an absurd amount of money to keep things looking crisp. Hours of doing little. Oh--but it was so different from my Dad's shoots which were fun for all. This mac and cheese ad, the account execs who were in charge were total jerks and paid a lot more than they were worth!....

LOL---you sent me down a memory tunnel, Dave---that was kinda fun for me...Blessings all.....Artwoman--it helps me to vent at the stupid ads--I think I threw a pencil at the screen once---very satisfying!.....Blessings. All we can do is keep spreading The Word and Debunking The Myths!....

Yeah I do express my frustrations here - where else am I gonna be able to vent? I don't see ads that I find uncomplimentary directed at other medical conditions, nor do I hear the rude statements - that we have addressed here often - addressed to say, people with MS. It was just a case of yet another ad - for a product for all types and ages of people with diabetes - that to me made those of us with diabetes seem - I don't know less.

I 'spose I should think twice before sounding off - but again I do wish that ads were more reflective of our community.

It did serve a purpose though...I tend to be very hypotensive. My BP is in normal range again.

Hi artwoman, please go ahead and express your frustrations here on TuD. I'm always happy and relieved to find that I'm not the only one similarly annoyed.

I share your frustration fully. The perpetuation of stereotypes serves no one well, and make no mistake, that's what this is. And to say that the advertisers are free to present their message any way they see fit is a deflection, not an answer. Of course they are -- totally free. And I am JUST as free to point out that they are doing their customers and the public at large a profound disservice thereby.

I always LEAD with Type 1 when I mention my diabetes. Then I see the confused look, implying that I don't look like what they think diabetics should look like. "You don't look like a diabetic."

On bad days, when I am just sick and tired of this baloney I really want to say, "you don't look dumb, but I've been fooled before."

It's OK to be frustrated. It's OK to vent and if not here, where? Who else understands just how crazy-making Type 1 is?

Timbeak - May I use your line? You don't look dumb, but I've been fooled before" Thanks in advance.,

I just learned a new one from my husband Let's see if I can put it here without being offensive.... "I wouldn't S**T you, You're my favorite T**D"

"You don't look dumb, but . . . "

Brilliant. I love it. :)

It's not my line. It's a meme I've seen on and I slightly altered it.

I couldn't agree more. I find these ads offensive and they perpetuate inaccurate stereotypes. They also reflect shallow and superficial analysis from a business perspective. Yes, you can make the argument that the majority of the target market is older and overweight, but the smarter thing to do would be to take an aspirational angle showing successful, well-managed, healthy diabetics of all ages and types who've reached that state because of the use of the products being pitched in an effective diabetes management plan. This is a proven advertising formula used by industries including everything from weight loss to detergents and tooth paste.

As I thought about the post, I also realized that a more accurate portrayal of people who use insulin might also help rid us of the assumption that insulin (by itself) causes weight gain. And for people with type 2 who are often told about insulin as a punishment - that insulin is a good tool not Rx'd because the patient "failed"