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. Pepou

    What about the daily gore we have to witness on television ? What about the tolerance for assault weapons in this country ? Give me a break !

    May 6, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. john

    I'm for getting rid of all drug advertisements. Why does anyone need to be targeted for specific pharmaceuticals? If you need a prescription drug, go see your doctor and talk it over. If you are really buying a drug based on the recommendation of an actor in a commercial then you are a fool. As for whether or not ED is a dirty subject, that's just idiotic. Tell your kids it's medicine that keeps older men healthy if you are that uncomfortable. My father explained what an erection was to me when I was ten years old. He actually told me in medical terminology what was happening. And, to calm all of you sensitive Christians out there, it had nothing to do with sex. The truth is, your kid could probably care less and is not going to pick up on the innuendos in the commercial anyhow. This is just another stupid thing that our government is wasting time discussing. Let's fix the economy and end the worthless war that were fighting first, then we can worry about the big scary issues like erections.

    May 6, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Frank

    Ryan hit the nail on the head. We should be able to watch a family friendly television show without having to have these ads pushed in our faces, especially in the presence of our children, forcing us to either change the channel or have the Big Talk with children who are ready for it.

    The congressman needs to move ahead with this long overdue bill.

    May 6, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Chi Town

    Heidi May 6th, 2009 5:45 pm ET

    I'm fairly liberal and don't like the idea of censorship. While I believe these types of products should get air time, I don't find them suitable for programs where kids are watching. They have become more obvious and even a tad embarassing from an adult perspective.

    Well said... agree... censorship isn't a good thing... however common courtesy should prevail in some cases...

    May 6, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Jack Sprat

    All these ED ads are annoying, but come on, this is a total waste of time there are a thousand things waaay more important to take on. Don't like the ads-push a button on the remote.

    May 6, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    @ Mississippi Mike, who said "And the nanny state tightens its grip a little more."

    Three words buddy, three words: civilian wiretap program. Now, the GOPers who want to push this as evidence of the "nanny state" the Dems intend to create should recognize two things: (a) this silly bill is not going anywhere because it's going to be laughed at by the vast majority of congresspeople from bth parties and (b) glass houses are a terrible place for flinging feces.

    May 6, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. rich

    Rep. Moran is wasting his time. I would guarantee him that most kids today have some idea about erective dysfunction with or without these ads. Most of these ads fly over the heads of young people. The others that pay attention may learn something about what can go wrong with their bodies in the future, and may have intellegent questions about it.

    The more you hide knowledge from kids, the more they will seek it out. With the internet today, there is not a kid familiar with it who would not be able to find all they need to know about sex or sexual dysfunction. I say good intention, but a waste of time. The cat is already out of bag, and most kids will tell you this.

    May 6, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. To Bob in Pa

    @Bob in Pa-

    I think you let this one pass right over your head. Conservatives want this passed. They want stricter regulations on indecency by the FCC. The GOP is in our bedrooms as much as they can possibly be allowed to be. If it were the Libs... well, there'd be no fines for swearing on air and we'd have nude ads in coffee table mags.

    You may want to recheck your GOP talking points. It seems as though you got them crossed on this one.

    May 6, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. Dkelsmith

    I am ramping up for my 3rd combat tour as an American Soldier, twice to Iraq and now to Afghanistan. My meager investments are shot to hell. My wife's 401K...whoops...don't have that anymore. I still have 11 years before I am eligible to retire, but don't know if that is possible as my youngest child is 6. I think about all of those things AFTER I worry about here watching a Cialis or Viagra commercial......not.

    May 6, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. Conservative Democrat in Indy

    I am sorry but with all of the problems our country is faced with in this day and age, E.D. ads on television has to be the LEAST of them. Unemployment is through the roof, we have banking institutions dropping like flies and major employers who are not sure if they will be in business in a month or two and Rep. Moran is worried whether or not a child will wonder "Daddy, what do they mean when they say 'Respond when the time is right?'" If the Gentleman would just concentrate on the real issues facing this country, maybe the government could get something done!!! Rep. Moran, the "Time is right" for you to respond to the issues that have REAL meaning in this country!!!

    May 6, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. Roy, Houston

    I totally agree that these commercials are inappropriate for airing while children are watching. Following much frustration I've learned to take it out on the program that chooses to air the commercial. I don't watch it.

    May 6, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. anderson n carolina

    I'm all for it and while their at it get rid of the femimine product ads too!

    May 6, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. Sammy

    Mommy what Viagra for?
    Well son...ummm... that is... lets see... oh look Barney is back on TV.

    Yes I know such ads arent on during Barney. Whether or not these ads are harmful I dont know. But they are tiresome and based on their frequency half the men in this country have a problem getting it up.

    May 6, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  14. Debbie

    I don't have children. And I'm not a prude. I'm just sick of the world being obsessed with erect penises. Maybe we should put more emphasis on what's between our ears.

    May 6, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  15. Emit R Detsaw

    The ridiculous part is not Viagra ads having to only be run after 10 PM, but why do Prescription drugs need to advertise at all. Doctors are supposed to diagnose the problem and then prescribe what your condition requires. Too many hypochondriacs are created by drug company ads.

    May 6, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  16. Your Daddy

    PLEASE tell me Congress has more important things to accomplish.... like fixing the economy.

    Besides, isn't this the ultimate hypocracy? I'll bet the vasy majority of those old men are downing the magic blue pills by the bottle full.

    May 6, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  17. Gary S.C.

    Maybe we should replace them with the Burger King " Big Butts" commercial. Now thats class.

    May 6, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  18. Lee in Ohio

    What a moron. The taxpayers in this guy's congressional district should start a recall campaign. He's wasting their money and their time. It's this kind of nonsense that gives congress a bad name.

    May 6, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  19. Tony in Maine

    Amazing. Just goes to show that not all the nutcases are on the right hand side of the aisle.

    May 6, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. rich

    One last note: Parents need to take responsibility for their children tv habits like every other aspects of their lives. Banning tv ads that one may find personably objectionable is not the answer. Parents should control their house and their kids, and stop passing the buck and trying to blame others for their poor parenting skills.

    May 6, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  21. NT

    so while i sit watching TV at night i wont have to worry about watching viagra commercials and seeing Smiling Bob with all the inuendos but i will still have to see all the commercials regarding femenine hygene and problems they have in the same general area?

    Yea sounds like TV is going to be so much better! I would much rather see smiling bob with all the old ladies around him giggling then seeing a woman frolic around in a field talking about how she doesnt have to worry about aunt flow anymore.

    May 6, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. Pat

    I am just glad that I don't have young children asking the questions.
    Next the Viagra and Cialis people will be wanting a bail out too.
    These companys have so much money now they should quit advertising and lower the price of the product. But, what would the networks do for advertising dollars?

    May 6, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. Matt in MN

    And what about all the other commercials that are deemed offensive to some?

    Do we get a bill to say what times they can air as well? Who determines what is and isn't offensive? Why are some products ok and others aren't?

    Slippery slope this particular congressman is trying to take this country down. Open the door just a crack and everyone is going to come forward pushing to limit ________ from airing during _________.

    May 6, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  24. Nancy - Houston

    FINALLY!! Someone is proposing to do something about such advertisements on television that I constantly "mute." It isn't just Viagra, but PMS, etc., etc. It is sickening to have to view such personal ads on TV. Next, I'm wondering how I will answer my grandchildrens' questions should we happen upon a couple of men or a couple of women kissing on each other out in public.. One thing for sure; I will not be visiting and spending my money in any states that are pushing same sex marriage. What a disgrace!!

    May 6, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  25. ed

    It isn't just when small children are around, when there is mixed company and they start talking about 4-hour erections, it can get quite embarrassing. Maybe everybody should just turn the tv off when one of these advertisements are used...

    ed

    May 6, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
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