K-Mart: Remove the Pharmacy Surprise ad from airplay and issue an apology

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Migräne aus der technischen Forschungsperspektive von Gehirnstimulatoren zu mobilen Gesundheitsdiensten.
Graue Substanz

Would you dare script the mother say, “I lied, I don’t really have breast cancer”?

Two days ago, a petition on Change.org appeared that I would like you to consider signing.  Change.org is the go-to site for Web uprisings and although I support several petitions there, I usually do not blog about it. This case is different as many might not even see the problem, which makes it a rather perfidious problem deserving more attention.

First, let me cite from a recent paper [1].

“What is particularly interesting to note is that the most recent reports [within the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) report of the World Health Organization] state that migraine alone is responsible of almost 3 % of disability attributable to a specific disease worldwide, also in consideration of its comorbidity. This places migraine as the eighth most burdensome diseases, the seventh among non-communicable diseases and the first among the neurological disorders ranked in the GBD report.”

Now, please read the petition. Some lines are also cited here:

After seeing the commercial for the first time, I was immediately offended and appalled at the lack of sensitivity and ignorance that is condoned by your company. In this commercial, the wife says, “I don’t really have migraines.” While this statement may seem innocent on the surface, it only furthers the negative stigma that migraine sufferers live with on a daily basis. …  On June 7 of this year, a 22 year old migraine sufferer name Melissa Dwyer committed suicide due to the severe pain and stigma she lived with on a daily basis. It was just too much for her to handle.
For your company to trivialize migraine disease in this commercial is not only insensitive and inappropriate, but it is also borderline unethical for a company of your size and influence. Would you dare script the mother say, “I lied, I don’t really have breast cancer” or a father to say, “I don’t really have prostate cancer”? No, I doubt that you would. We, your customers, deserve better. Melissa Dwyer deserves better.

Sign here.



[1] Leonardi, M.  and Raggi, A., Burden of migraine: international perspectives, Neurol. Sci., 34, 2013. [Link]


Markus Dahlem forscht seit über 20 Jahren über Migräne, hat Gastpositionen an der HU Berlin und am Massachusetts General Hospital. Außerdem ist er Geschäftsführer und Mitgründer des Berliner eHealth-Startup Newsenselab, das die Migräne- und Kopfschmerz-App M-sense entwickelt.

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