May 6th, 2009
06:02 PM ET
4 years ago

Congressman: No Viagra before 10 p.m.

 Moran wants to limit when Viagra ads can appear.
Moran wants to limit when Viagra ads can appear.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former presidential candidate Robert Dole made headlines as a pitchman for Viagra, and now a decade later a Virginia congressman wants to limit the time when ads for this and similar products can air.

Last month, Democratic Rep. Jim Moran introduced the "Families for ED Advertising Decency Act," which prevents erectile dysfunction and male enhancement ads from appearing on radio and television between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

"This [the advertisements] is an intrusion into our daily lives that I believe has become inappropriate." Moran said in an interview with CNN. "There is a saturation of the television airwaves with these E.D. ads, and they have gotten more pervasive, more blunt, and less subtle."

The bill currently has only one co-sponsor, Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pennsylvania, and there are currently no hearings scheduled on the issue. But a Moran spokesman said the congressman is actively seeking more support.

"I don't want to be prudish about it," Moran said. "I understand there is limitless market to deal with male insecurity and its fine for drug companies to make a profit on that. The problem is that they are showing these ads when small children are bound to get curious."

UPDATE: Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, defended their commercials in a statement, saying, "Our goal in advertising our products is to reach the people who would be most likely to benefit from them."

Full statement after the jump

Consumers need and want readily available, easy-to-understand health information. Advertisements for prescription medicines provide clear information about medical conditions and treatments and motivate consumers to have productive conversations with their physicians. Pfizer is committed to responsible advertising. We are continually looking for ways to improve our advertising.

Our goal in advertising our products is to reach the people who would be most likely to benefit from them. In line with our policies and the policies of the industry, Viagra advertising is aired in shows most likely to be reach men suffering from erectile dysfunction. ED can be a signal for other serious medical issues, including high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Brittany

    What's wrong with children being curious about sex? It sounds like Rep. Moran is dealing with his own "insecurities".

    May 6, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. IndependentfromTexas

    Fully support this. these ads are nauseating with kids around. Sick TV ..

    May 6, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. nick, houston

    NO to over-regulation of advertising. The erectile dysfunction advertisements are not understandable by children and they should not offend anyone. They may be annoying, but that is no reason to put a ban on advertising that would be effective during those slots. I think this is over regulation and I am a Democrat!!!!

    May 6, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    This is ridiculous. Just deal with it, and how about instead of focusing on ED medication as if it were some big deal you start regulating how much drug companies can advertise on television to begin with. We have a huge problem of overmedication in this country in general. When people are going to their doctors requesting special drugs because they saw an attractive person tv try to sell it to them. . . this is not good. Resources are there for patients to learn about drugs via internet, let's leave drug recommendations in the hands of doctors.

    May 6, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. JoJo

    If they think that the ad for Viagra is bad, then they need to take the Victoria Secret ads,Playtex bra, and tampon commercials of also.

    May 6, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. Rob

    Odd that Dems fight for the rights of liberals to be foul-mouthed, and for channels like MSNBC to filled with nothing but crap, yet want to put something like this in. Hmmmm, looks like the people who make viagra didn't contribute enough to Democrat causes/candidates

    May 6, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. joe smith

    you are not prudish; I enjoy, as many others, the PGA on TV; but it has come to the point, if I see another Cialis,Viagra, or some other ed promoting theme, I will refuse to watch; thank goodness, someone who has common sense wants to do something about it..you know they promote the first tee, junior golf, etc., then shoot themselves in the foot with this adult theme at 3 p.m.; advertisers, and station managers just don't get it..

    May 6, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. Dale Wilson

    My father is a physician and I still laugh when I remember when he and my two nephews were watching TV and a commercial for Viagra came on. My oldest nephew, who was around 6 or 7 at the time turned to his grandpa and asked "whats erectile dysfunction grandpa?"

    Without missing a beat, my father answered "I have no idea".

    May 6, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. zoe2020

    let's ban ALL drug advertisements before 10PM! I'm so sick of drug advertisements! Imagine all the money that could be saved in drug costs if these drug companies weren't paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising! I'm really really really tired of the stupid balloon ads about bladder control! That is more offensive than Viagra! Most drug adverts are gross and disgusting and cost people who are in need of other drugs more money because of it.

    When I was a kid there were NEVER advertisements for drugs. That started happening when Reagan was elected and he loosened restrictions. It's gotten WAY out of hand.

    May 6, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. Shari, NY

    Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction is a "tempest in a teapot" in comparison to a sickening erectile dysfunction ad. Any half witted man who is having a problem knows that doctors' doors are wide open to assist him. It is up to him or his partner to make that appointment. Ads should be prominently displayed in medical offices – both private and public. End of story!

    May 6, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. J.P.

    How about they just run the ED advertisements at restaurants... during the Early Bird Special.

    May 6, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. Mississippi Mike

    And the nanny state tightens its grip a little more. What's next, banning hot dogs because their appearance is a little too similar to a part of the male anatomy?

    If Barney Frank or Ted Kennedy had been the ones in the ad, your kids would be learning about Viagra in schools right now instead of watching the ads on TV.

    May 6, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. John

    Congress can fund hundreds of pages of reports about stained blue dresses yet becomes sketchy about ED or wardrobe malfunctions.

    Kids view thousands of acts of violence on TV each year but they need to be protected against Viagra advertisements.

    Go figure.

    May 6, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  14. dmcd

    This is why democrats are accused of big government and trying to regulate peoples lives.
    It is a parents job to regulate what their children see on TV, not ad executives.
    Also, nudity has been in European commercials for decades, why haven't all European children turned into sex crime addicted deviants?

    May 6, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  15. smokesignals

    Finally! Not that I am for having to pass a law or regulation concerning it. You would think that these companies would have the sensibilities to NOT advertise during those time slots. For parents with children, it's an awkward moment. For adults, it's not much better. We are raising an entire generation to be as tasteless as these commercials. If this is what it takes to bring some civility back to our airwaves, then so be it.

    May 6, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Objective Thinking

    ... wow ...

    If this isn't proof that our government has people introducing legislation just to justify their existence, I don't what is.

    May 6, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Del

    I totally agree with this. I hate it when I am watching a baseball or football game with my 8 year old son and these ads come on. He is very impressionable at that age and doesn't need to see that crap on TV.

    May 6, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  18. Sherry, N. Calif.

    I agree. These ads do no one any good. Could you also have them take off the feminine products as well? It disgusts me to see these things advertised. They know we have to buy them so why advertise them unneccessarily?

    May 6, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. Saritha, CA

    This is sooo true, we can't even watch CNN these days, with little kids at home. We are always muting out our TVs or changing channels, and guess what..similar ads play there too..

    May 6, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  20. NG

    Great idea... That kind of advertising should not be shown all day long. How can that nonsense be allowed to get the airwaves during daytime, and the morning after pill can't be advertised at all?

    May 6, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  21. Doug

    God forbid a child should ask a question.

    May 6, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  22. John W. Racine, WI

    If congressman Moran – should be MORON – is still actively searching for more support for his going-no-where-absurd-bill, perhaps he should contact the makers of Viagra... has this intellectual cretin ever thought about CHANGING THE CHANNEL or perhaps, more importantly, actually READING a piece of LEGISLATION B/4 he voted on it? [That would take this CONTROL FREAK'S eyes off the tube for a bit.]

    Secondly, has this guy ever heard of the 1st. Amendment?

    Swampland and the FCC is just full of sexually repressed NUT JOBS like this one! [Their private live, however, tell a different story!]

    May 6, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  23. Nathan,

    More American hipocrisy. If millions weren't benefiting from these drugs, men and women, they wouldn't advertise as much. THis is just another way to avoid talking to your kids. Did anyone stop to think that sex becomes something perverted when its treated like its something that should not be discussed or thought about. The problems isn't with the kids. The problem is the adults. If you're asked a question just answer it as clinically as possible. Kids aren't as dumb as we think they are.

    May 6, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  24. No Incumbents 2010

    That is all well and good, but aren't most of the people who need it in bed by 10pm?

    May 6, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  25. Ken

    These are no more "disgusting" than all of the products for feminine hygiene. This is a part of life. I would rather see these than assault weapons and death. From what kind of denial are these people suffering?

    May 6, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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