Many months ago, I wrote a post about a series of ads for medical devices, wondering "Is this ad effective?" It is time to ask the question again.
Going through the airport's security system the other day, I noticed this handy bag being offered as part of the TSA 3-1-1 program. A nice convenience, I thought, for those who had forgotten to separate their small vials of liquids.
But then I noticed that the bag was an ad from Johnson & Johnson for an atrial fibrillation (AF) catheter. I have no doubt this is an efficacious product, but how many people who need electrophysiology (EP) to diminish AF will be influenced by the placement of this ad on this medium? Let's look at the decision tree involved: Perhaps some people who are taking beta blockers or other drugs may choose to place their drug vials in this particular bag, and then if their AF is refractory to the drugs, they might remember seeing this ad, and then they might say to their cardiologist just around the time they are planning an EP treatment, "Gee, last time I was in the airport, I picked up a 3-1-1 bag at security that suggested that a particular catheter was real cool. Are you planning to use that catheter?"
Sound likely? Not to me. I therefore ask the questions I have posed before:
So, I guess I just don't get it, and I am asking for your help. What do you think is the purpose of this kind of ad? And, do you think it is effective in accomplishing that purpose?
(Please, I am really asking these questions because I don't understand. I have no hidden agenda. This is not a critique of this company, this product, or our economic system! I am hoping that doctors, patients, or manufacturers out there can offer insights to us all.)