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Viagra video games.

VIAGRA LOST SOME OF ITS "VIVA" when the Federal rug Administration (FDA) shut down Pfizer's attempt to market its "little blue pill" through an online video game.

Viagra's "Viva Cruiser" game--in which players guided a motorcyclist down a desert road picking up gifts for a date, including small, diamond-shaped blue pills--was pulled from Forbes.com in September. Viagra's "Viva Viagra" theme song played in the background with a narrator's voice toning, "Don't let erectile dysfunction get you down."

The video game was pulled shortly after Pfizer removed a video ad from CNN.com, which aired without required warning messages. "The video is misleading because it makes representations and suggestions about the use of Viagra ... but fails to disclose any risk information for the drug," the FDA wrote in its warning letter to Pfizer.

The FDA currently has no explicit rules regulating the online marketing of pharmaceuticals, and most drug companies have been cautious with any direct-to-consumer marketing online. The official websites of top-selling drugs still do not contain links to outside sites, for fear that those websites might contain claims the FDA would deem misleading. Drug websites also generally do not include "chat" or "comment" functions like many other marketing websites, because if a consumer were to leave a negative comment about a drug's side effects, the company might be legally required to report that to the FDA as an "adverse event" related to the medication.

However, Viagra still has an interactive ad on its official website which o prompts viewers to remove "obstacles," including newspapers, a remote and a telephone, from between a couple sitting on a couch. When all of the obstacles are removed, the couple embraces, and the ad reads, "Make your move."
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Title Annotation:COMMERCIAL ALERT; Viva Viagra
Author:Wedekind, Jennifer
Publication:Multinational Monitor
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Nov 1, 2008
Words:286
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