Anorex: accuracy in advertising or a really bad choice of names?
November 19, 2001 1:03 PM   Subscribe

Anorex: accuracy in advertising or a really bad choice of names? When i first saw this ad in Cosmo i hoped it was a joke. I realize that the only thing different about it than the other slim-your-body-increase-your-bust-size ads in there was the name. I had opened a Cosmo sort of trolling for just that type of thing...but i was still a bit shocked.
posted by th3ph17 (20 comments total)
"If ringing in the ears or temporary loss of hearing occurs, consult a physician before taking again" - uh huh....
posted by zeoslap at 1:22 PM on November 19, 2001

It's an anorectic drug. So it has the same root as "anorexia." They both deal with appetite suppression, and thus have the same root.

So... maybe they're just stupid?

Luckily, their website makes constant reference to the genetic roots of obesity, so this is to treat people with diseases, you see, and not just anyone who wants to get thin... yup.
posted by whatnotever at 1:22 PM on November 19, 2001

They most certainly are stupid.

It may be a logical extension of the root word, but you don't see anti-constipation drugs marketed under the name Diarrhex, just because they're diarrhetics.
posted by me3dia at 1:30 PM on November 19, 2001

they definitely chose this name for its link to anorexia. drugs always have two names: its smaller name (which it is marketed under) and it's longer, technical name. the smaller name is thought up by marketroids, and is designed not only to be remembered and interesting but also to tell you what the drug does. (more information on drug naming.)
posted by moz at 1:49 PM on November 19, 2001

Sadly, this is "smart" marketing to those with body dysmorphic disorder. Look at the people in the ad--none appears overweight--but they are being sold on the idea that they are fat and that Anorex is the answer.
posted by Carol Anne at 4:04 PM on November 19, 2001

If I'd seen this out of context, I would have honestly thought it was something straight out of The Onion. Not only is the title of the drug completely playing to people with disorders, but like the poster (Carol Anne) said above, none of the people in the picture on the page even appear to be overweight (and judging by the collarbones and neck of the woman in the front, looks like she could stand to gain some weight). I can't believe that it made it through the FDA.

Oh wait, yes I can.
posted by almostcool at 4:18 PM on November 19, 2001

Thanks for the link- I'll try out their Testrogel and let you all know how it works. :)
posted by Counselco at 4:20 PM on November 19, 2001

Anorexia nervosa is something of a misnomer. In my experience, anorexics have not "lost" their appetite--indeed, many admit to feeling powerfully hungry all the time. As bizarre as it sounds, "Anorex" is actually an appropriate name for the drug, since it causes loss of appetite. While I agree that the name was probably chosen to appeal to people who wish they were anorexic (if only they knew), the term "anorexia nervosa" was invented a long time ago, before the disorder was understood.
posted by xyzzy at 4:29 PM on November 19, 2001

Anorex? Ick!

Sorry. What a horrible name for a drug though. OF course, the whole idea of marketing medicine is slightly obscene. Medicine should be something you take when you need it, not when you see an ad in Cosmo. That leads to self-diagnosis, which we all know the dangers of.
posted by Nothing at 4:41 PM on November 19, 2001

It may be a logical extension of the root word, but you don't see anti-constipation drugs marketed under the name Diarrhex

"Price check on Diarrhex Extra Strength."
posted by skallas at 5:27 PM on November 19, 2001

> you don't see anti-constipation drugs marketed under
> the name Diarrhex, just because they're diarrhetics.

Better copyright it right this minute just in case. It could be your first million.
posted by jfuller at 5:44 PM on November 19, 2001

almost cool, The Testrogel ad reads even more like an Onion article.

The next time you and your partner are together (when no one else is around, of course) just rub a little bit of TestroGel™ on the inside of her forearm… and don’t forget a little for yourself as well. In as little as 45 minutes, both of you will feel the results… and that’s guaranteed! TestroGel™ not only gives you the ability to perform like the “sex god” you’ve always thought you were (or wanted to be, anyway), but it will keep her coming back for more.

A sex god is what I always thought I was....
posted by patrickje at 6:08 PM on November 19, 2001

Well, I certainly wouldn't buy any diet drug if only fat people were pictured in the ad. I want to see how great I *can* look - I can see how I already am just by looking in the mirror.
posted by karaleah at 6:11 PM on November 19, 2001

Geez. i admit, i didn't even look at the testroGel, perhaps i need to re-think my inner condemnation of this company...and hey, did anyone else notice they are based in provo, utah?

Sex Gods in Utah. great book title.

[i was born in provo BTW.]

I'm off to the store to try and find some Obesitol or Reekotrol.
posted by th3ph17 at 6:26 PM on November 19, 2001

*sigh* jfuller: copyright != trademark.

One that always gets me (even though it's not funny, of course, to the sufferers) is Vaginex ... and its hemorrhoidal suppository cousin (in naming), Anusol. Boy, no mincing words there, huh? What's next, calling cough medicine "Phlegminol"? Renaming Vaseline "Penisol"?

Though actually there is a trend toward using English-sounding product names ... e.g. Flonase opens up your nasal passages so they can "flow".

In any case, there are real problems with soundalike drug names. I think there was a case where a prescription for a heart medication was accidentally filled with a stimulant, which killed the patient. Doctors just can't remember all the names, let alone deal with the fact that each drug has a registered name, and a marketing name, and if it's been around long enough multiple marketing names from all the companies that make it. We're lucky to get names that are intelligible at all, sometimes.
posted by dhartung at 6:52 PM on November 19, 2001

Actual product names -

Golytely - laxative
Android - prescribed anabolic steroid
Skelaxin - muscle relaxant
Muse - for erectile dysfunction
Flomax - for urinary dysfunction secondary to prostate hypertrophy
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 8:01 PM on November 19, 2001

Holy bumcakes, Batman! If you're concerned about the skinny people in the ad for Anorex, look at the picture they're using to sell their other product Luprinol. (and then be sure to click 'next' to see what Luprinol can do for you...)

As far as FDA approval... I believe that all you have to do to get a drug approved by the FDA is to prove that is works better than a placebo. Which is to say, better than nothing. This company's products, however, look to me like they're being sold as 'diet supplements' and as such, they don't need any approval at all, do they?
posted by spilon at 8:39 PM on November 19, 2001

Well, it has nearly all the "buzz-letters": A, N, O, R, E and X. (the remaining buzz-letters being Q, Z, and I). --I think it's a winner.

Besides, have you guys actually tried to name a product? With an ORIGINAL name, that's NOT a trademark or a proper noun or someone else's name, and is NOT already taken, and is a name that people can REMEMBER? See this article on why it's not as easy as it sounds.
posted by Down10 at 10:50 PM on November 19, 2001

A, O, E, and I are "buzz letters"? Why not U?

I think the vowels are a little too ubiquitous to be buzz letters. They're in, like, every word I know.
posted by ktheory at 6:18 AM on November 20, 2001

Oy. I logged onto the site and could buy the drug if I wanted to without a script. And I used to have anorexia. If I were still sick, I'd order that in a second.
posted by Modem Ovary at 8:10 AM on November 20, 2001

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