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Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: Musing on the big business of madness in the new millennium

By TO411Daily Columnist
Linda Chandler

It’s only a little over a decade into our new millennium, so it’s too soon to characterize it as the “Age of…” anything. If anything, it has so far been dominated by innovation in technology, the radicalization of human behavior, revolt in governments, climate tragedies, abuse of our natural resources, a global order in flux, and, for us media miners, a vast population more connected to their virtual lives than their real ones. 

Currently, we’re transfixed by the audacity of Wikileaks, and thunderstruck at how social networks such as Twitter and Facebook helped devolve dictatorships. We still do not know how those changes will resolve themselves and whether the social plague of fanaticism, religious and political, effecting countries, the Earth or Wisconsin unions – will effect the microcosm of our everyday lives – except in a very real sense – many of us feel resolved to a growing madness. 

Evercookies? Tsk tsk! N.pl. “These are browser cookies that never expire and can’t be removed from a computer. They conceal themselves in at least eight places in the hard drive to enable persistent tracking by advertisers and trackers” * 

Doesn’t the thought of that make you crazy? No problem. There’s a pill for that.

Have you noticed how openly we’re advertising mental illness these days? It’s not exactly demystification as it is democratization. Suddenly suffering from mental illness is like having headaches or muscle fatigue. And not just Depression either, depression being the “Everyman’s” mental illness of a decade ago, when the pharmaceutical industry and their ministers and marketers hailed SSRI’s. (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) as the second coming. Was there life before Prozac? 

David Healy in his book Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder (once known as Manic Depression and now remarketed as Bipolar Disorder) says that the “the never-ending expansion of the category of bipolar disorder, 1, 11, 11 1/2, 111, 111 1/2, 1V, and V, benefits large pharmaceutical companies eager to sell medications marketed with the disorder in mind.” * Even children as young as two years old are being diagnosed and treated for it. (Remember when ADHD was like chicken pox?) 

Why is this happening? The Brief asks rhetorically.

Because mental illness is big business. All syndromes, disorders, diseases and their like are abuzz with opportunity. The market for atypical antipsychotics (currently prescribed for mental disorders such as bipolar disease) is currently worth 18 billion dollars. Twice as much as SSRIs in 2001. 

But the drugs for mental illness, would be risky business without the assistance of PR companies, marketing and branding specialists, websites and online organizations, blogs, banner ads and who knows what else. It’s everything that made the manufacturing and treatment of clinical depression so common… so successful… so rewarding to so many.

Add to that windfall for the pharmaceuticals and their ministries, all the rest of the drug advertising, or, as I like to put it, evening television. How come we don’t seem to question the dark irony of a drug for something as benign as stomach acid causing seizures or kidney disease or death! A litany of side effects which take longer to announce than the real symptoms of the ailment. Why are we not revolting about drugs that are advertised as potentially fatal? 

Big account, that Celebrex!

And drugs have a long shelf life too. Which is good for our industry. You can rebrand them, repurpose them and then remarket them too. Take Wellbutrin, for example. It’s an SSRI for depression, but it has been remarketed, actually double-marketed, as the smoke cessation drug, Zyban. S. Mikkel Borsh-Jacobsen writes, “Illnesses can always be tailored to better sell a particular molecule under a particular patent.” 

And you thought you were fu-ked up! 

Retail items: $33 is the average amount a gift card holder spends beyond the card’s value. 6% is share of retail cards never redeemed. *

Just be happy. Professor Jennifer Aaker teaches a happiness class at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She consults with clients including AOL, Adobe and Facebook who use her teachings to increase employee productivity and entice customers. Aackers says “the idea of brands enabling happiness and providing greater meaning to the world is powerful… people have an aversion to anything that feels overly manufactured.” Her research defines happiness as “a state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.” * Sounds like one-half of bi-polar disorder.

Clearly, in the beginnings of this new millennium, the earth and all its inhabitants are hanging by a thread. Tweet that. Retweet that. Is that your BlackBerry or mine? Ooops, I forgot to pick up the kids!

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life listen to this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh9ZZgDqzAg


SOURCES

  * Wired February 11, 2011, pg. 42, Jargon Watch
* Wired February 11, 2011, pg. 44 Secret Messages by Clive Thomsson
* A Short History of Bipolar Disorder by David Healy, John Hopkins University Press, 2008
* On the subject of mental illness and the pharmaceutical industry, The Brief discusses it only because it is a source of account building and revenue for advertisers and marketers. Mental Illness is real and easy to get in our business. Seek help from your health care practitioner or The Canadian Psychiatric Association: http://www.cpa-apc.org/index.php
* Inc. The Magazine for Growing Companies February 2011.
* Fast Company, February 2011, “The Business of Happiness” by Nancy Cook.

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
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Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: Musing on the big business of madness in the new millennium

By TO411Daily Columnist
Linda Chandler

It’s only a little over a decade into our new millennium, so it’s too soon to characterize it as the “Age of…” anything. If anything, it has so far been dominated by innovation in technology, the radicalization of human behavior, revolt in governments, climate tragedies, abuse of our natural resources, a global order in flux, and, for us media miners, a vast population more connected to their virtual lives than their real ones. 

Currently, we’re transfixed by the audacity of Wikileaks, and thunderstruck at how social networks such as Twitter and Facebook helped devolve dictatorships. We still do not know how those changes will resolve themselves and whether the social plague of fanaticism, religious and political, effecting countries, the Earth or Wisconsin unions – will effect the microcosm of our everyday lives – except in a very real sense – many of us feel resolved to a growing madness. 

Evercookies? Tsk tsk! N.pl. “These are browser cookies that never expire and can’t be removed from a computer. They conceal themselves in at least eight places in the hard drive to enable persistent tracking by advertisers and trackers” * 

Doesn’t the thought of that make you crazy? No problem. There’s a pill for that.

Have you noticed how openly we’re advertising mental illness these days? It’s not exactly demystification as it is democratization. Suddenly suffering from mental illness is like having headaches or muscle fatigue. And not just Depression either, depression being the “Everyman’s” mental illness of a decade ago, when the pharmaceutical industry and their ministers and marketers hailed SSRI’s. (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) as the second coming. Was there life before Prozac? 

David Healy in his book Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder (once known as Manic Depression and now remarketed as Bipolar Disorder) says that the “the never-ending expansion of the category of bipolar disorder, 1, 11, 11 1/2, 111, 111 1/2, 1V, and V, benefits large pharmaceutical companies eager to sell medications marketed with the disorder in mind.” * Even children as young as two years old are being diagnosed and treated for it. (Remember when ADHD was like chicken pox?) 

Why is this happening? The Brief asks rhetorically.

Because mental illness is big business. All syndromes, disorders, diseases and their like are abuzz with opportunity. The market for atypical antipsychotics (currently prescribed for mental disorders such as bipolar disease) is currently worth 18 billion dollars. Twice as much as SSRIs in 2001. 

But the drugs for mental illness, would be risky business without the assistance of PR companies, marketing and branding specialists, websites and online organizations, blogs, banner ads and who knows what else. It’s everything that made the manufacturing and treatment of clinical depression so common… so successful… so rewarding to so many.

Add to that windfall for the pharmaceuticals and their ministries, all the rest of the drug advertising, or, as I like to put it, evening television. How come we don’t seem to question the dark irony of a drug for something as benign as stomach acid causing seizures or kidney disease or death! A litany of side effects which take longer to announce than the real symptoms of the ailment. Why are we not revolting about drugs that are advertised as potentially fatal? 

Big account, that Celebrex!

And drugs have a long shelf life too. Which is good for our industry. You can rebrand them, repurpose them and then remarket them too. Take Wellbutrin, for example. It’s an SSRI for depression, but it has been remarketed, actually double-marketed, as the smoke cessation drug, Zyban. S. Mikkel Borsh-Jacobsen writes, “Illnesses can always be tailored to better sell a particular molecule under a particular patent.” 

And you thought you were fu-ked up! 

Retail items: $33 is the average amount a gift card holder spends beyond the card’s value. 6% is share of retail cards never redeemed. *

Just be happy. Professor Jennifer Aaker teaches a happiness class at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She consults with clients including AOL, Adobe and Facebook who use her teachings to increase employee productivity and entice customers. Aackers says “the idea of brands enabling happiness and providing greater meaning to the world is powerful… people have an aversion to anything that feels overly manufactured.” Her research defines happiness as “a state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.” * Sounds like one-half of bi-polar disorder.

Clearly, in the beginnings of this new millennium, the earth and all its inhabitants are hanging by a thread. Tweet that. Retweet that. Is that your BlackBerry or mine? Ooops, I forgot to pick up the kids!

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life listen to this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh9ZZgDqzAg


SOURCES

  * Wired February 11, 2011, pg. 42, Jargon Watch
* Wired February 11, 2011, pg. 44 Secret Messages by Clive Thomsson
* A Short History of Bipolar Disorder by David Healy, John Hopkins University Press, 2008
* On the subject of mental illness and the pharmaceutical industry, The Brief discusses it only because it is a source of account building and revenue for advertisers and marketers. Mental Illness is real and easy to get in our business. Seek help from your health care practitioner or The Canadian Psychiatric Association: http://www.cpa-apc.org/index.php
* Inc. The Magazine for Growing Companies February 2011.
* Fast Company, February 2011, “The Business of Happiness” by Nancy Cook.

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
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Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: Musing on the big business of madness in the new millennium

By TO411Daily Columnist
Linda Chandler

It’s only a little over a decade into our new millennium, so it’s too soon to characterize it as the “Age of…” anything. If anything, it has so far been dominated by innovation in technology, the radicalization of human behavior, revolt in governments, climate tragedies, abuse of our natural resources, a global order in flux, and, for us media miners, a vast population more connected to their virtual lives than their real ones. 

Currently, we’re transfixed by the audacity of Wikileaks, and thunderstruck at how social networks such as Twitter and Facebook helped devolve dictatorships. We still do not know how those changes will resolve themselves and whether the social plague of fanaticism, religious and political, effecting countries, the Earth or Wisconsin unions – will effect the microcosm of our everyday lives – except in a very real sense – many of us feel resolved to a growing madness. 

Evercookies? Tsk tsk! N.pl. “These are browser cookies that never expire and can’t be removed from a computer. They conceal themselves in at least eight places in the hard drive to enable persistent tracking by advertisers and trackers” * 

Doesn’t the thought of that make you crazy? No problem. There’s a pill for that.

Have you noticed how openly we’re advertising mental illness these days? It’s not exactly demystification as it is democratization. Suddenly suffering from mental illness is like having headaches or muscle fatigue. And not just Depression either, depression being the “Everyman’s” mental illness of a decade ago, when the pharmaceutical industry and their ministers and marketers hailed SSRI’s. (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) as the second coming. Was there life before Prozac? 

David Healy in his book Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder (once known as Manic Depression and now remarketed as Bipolar Disorder) says that the “the never-ending expansion of the category of bipolar disorder, 1, 11, 11 1/2, 111, 111 1/2, 1V, and V, benefits large pharmaceutical companies eager to sell medications marketed with the disorder in mind.” * Even children as young as two years old are being diagnosed and treated for it. (Remember when ADHD was like chicken pox?) 

Why is this happening? The Brief asks rhetorically.

Because mental illness is big business. All syndromes, disorders, diseases and their like are abuzz with opportunity. The market for atypical antipsychotics (currently prescribed for mental disorders such as bipolar disease) is currently worth 18 billion dollars. Twice as much as SSRIs in 2001. 

But the drugs for mental illness, would be risky business without the assistance of PR companies, marketing and branding specialists, websites and online organizations, blogs, banner ads and who knows what else. It’s everything that made the manufacturing and treatment of clinical depression so common… so successful… so rewarding to so many.

Add to that windfall for the pharmaceuticals and their ministries, all the rest of the drug advertising, or, as I like to put it, evening television. How come we don’t seem to question the dark irony of a drug for something as benign as stomach acid causing seizures or kidney disease or death! A litany of side effects which take longer to announce than the real symptoms of the ailment. Why are we not revolting about drugs that are advertised as potentially fatal? 

Big account, that Celebrex!

And drugs have a long shelf life too. Which is good for our industry. You can rebrand them, repurpose them and then remarket them too. Take Wellbutrin, for example. It’s an SSRI for depression, but it has been remarketed, actually double-marketed, as the smoke cessation drug, Zyban. S. Mikkel Borsh-Jacobsen writes, “Illnesses can always be tailored to better sell a particular molecule under a particular patent.” 

And you thought you were fu-ked up! 

Retail items: $33 is the average amount a gift card holder spends beyond the card’s value. 6% is share of retail cards never redeemed. *

Just be happy. Professor Jennifer Aaker teaches a happiness class at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She consults with clients including AOL, Adobe and Facebook who use her teachings to increase employee productivity and entice customers. Aackers says “the idea of brands enabling happiness and providing greater meaning to the world is powerful… people have an aversion to anything that feels overly manufactured.” Her research defines happiness as “a state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.” * Sounds like one-half of bi-polar disorder.

Clearly, in the beginnings of this new millennium, the earth and all its inhabitants are hanging by a thread. Tweet that. Retweet that. Is that your BlackBerry or mine? Ooops, I forgot to pick up the kids!

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life listen to this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh9ZZgDqzAg


SOURCES

  * Wired February 11, 2011, pg. 42, Jargon Watch
* Wired February 11, 2011, pg. 44 Secret Messages by Clive Thomsson
* A Short History of Bipolar Disorder by David Healy, John Hopkins University Press, 2008
* On the subject of mental illness and the pharmaceutical industry, The Brief discusses it only because it is a source of account building and revenue for advertisers and marketers. Mental Illness is real and easy to get in our business. Seek help from your health care practitioner or The Canadian Psychiatric Association: http://www.cpa-apc.org/index.php
* Inc. The Magazine for Growing Companies February 2011.
* Fast Company, February 2011, “The Business of Happiness” by Nancy Cook.

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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