Hey, it’s just advertising. Nobody dies, right?
This reassuring advice was offered early in my career, as I sweated over every word of a telephone-banking ad. Fast-forward to Aloysius Butler & Clark. Since joining the agency, I’ve transitioned from a purely b2b writer to also being involved in healthcare and life science accounts.
I’ve gone from promoting electronics, trucks, doors, chemicals and building products to writing my first six-page insert for transcatheter aortic valve replacement — a procedure that surgeons performed, mind you, on an 87-year-old woman while her heart was still beating! Along the way, I’ve also worked on endoprostheses (devices that seal off abdominal aneurysms before they burst), hematology analyzers that spot blood conditions before they become life-threatening, and more.
And it occurred to me that, without advertising for these procedures or products, many people indeed probably would die.
I’m also involved in physician recruitment marketing. How hard could that be, right? You’d think doctors would be climbing all over each other to take great-paying new jobs at hospitals or health systems. Wrong. It’s the hospitals and health systems clambering over each other to recruit physicians from a dwindling supply of available candidates! Did you know that by 2025 the United States will face a shortage of more than 130,000 doctors? Neither did I. This is happening just as the Census Bureau predicts a corresponding 36% increase in the number of Americans over age 65 — people who need care the most.
Uh-oh. That can’t be good for our collective life expectancy.
Now we’ve just won a new client seeking to improve its recruit marketing aimed at regulatory writers. They’re people who help pharmaceutical companies submit new chemical entities to the FDA — chemical compounds that could be blockbuster drugs that cure or manage illnesses and save lives.
Wow. Because of advertising, (almost) nobody dies. Guess it could be worse. I could be selling life insurance. There’s a scary proposition. Everybody dies.