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  1. Prescription Drug Advertising

Correct Help-Seeking Ad

Be Smart About Prescription Drug Advertising: A Guide for Consumers

Help-seeking ads describe a disease or condition but do not recommend or suggest specific drugs. For instance, this ad describes seasonal allergy symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes. People with these symptoms are encouraged to talk to their doctor. Help-seeking ads may include a drug company's name and may also provide a telephone number to call for more information. FDA does not regulate lawful help-seeking ads. They are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. However, if an apparent help-seeking ad references a particular drug, it is no longer a help-seeking ad, and FDA regulates it.

Choose a yellow number in the ad for detailed information.

View an Incorrect Help-Seeking Ad


help-seeking ad

Number 1The image in this ad identifies a person who may have seasonal allergy symptoms. The ad does not show an image of a specific drug.

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Help-Seeking Slice 1
Number 2This help-seeking ad identifies seasonal allergy symptoms without identifying a possible drug treatment.

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Help-Seeking Slice 2
Number 3This and any help-seeking ad may recommend that readers seek the advice of their healthcare provider.

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Help-Seeking Slice 3
Number 4While this ad may not name a drug, it may identify the company sponsoring the ad and provide a telephone number to call or a website to visit for more information.

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Help-Seeking Slice 4


Note: This website does not purport to set forth all the ways in which an ad may violate the law, but rather to explain to the public some of the basic concepts related to drug advertising. 


This site was developed as a collaborative effort between FDA and EthicAd to educate consumers about DTC prescription drug advertisements. 

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