If you had even a quick moment to look around your gay village this summer amidst all the distractions of Pride celebrations, you might have been convinced from the barrage of Viagra advertising that Canada’s gay community was under siege from an epidemic of unprecedented male impotency. Bus stops, sponsorships, posters and bar tops all sporting a jaunty little blue pill in front of the rainbow flag urging you to “Talk to your doctor” but not really explaining just what it is was you were supposed to ask about.
Sure, other corporations have targeted Pride festivities in the past trying to peddle their wares, but sticking a bottle of Absolut in front of the rainbow flag followed by “Absolut Pride” is pretty straight forward: Drink this, get drunk, have fun, be gay. However when superimposing a Viagra in front of the rainbow flag and leaving it up to the imagination, is Pfizer saying: If his rock hard abs don’t do it for you, maybe this will?
If you ask Vincent Lamoureux, the Director of Corporate Communications for Pfizer Canada just what the message to the gay community is supposed to be, he’ll tell you that “Participating in Pride Week is a natural extension of the brand’s ongoing focus on reflecting the spirit of vitality and joy that’s associated with being proactive and open about your health and wellbeing,” and that “Pfizer Canada has always been a strong advocate for encouraging Canadian men and couples to be proactive and get educated about health issues.”
For the purposes of this article, a completely non-scientific sampling process put that statement to the test when 56 different gay men ranging in all ages and sizes were asked if they had ever used or known someone who had used Viagra. Of the 56 respondents, 32 of them answered yes to the question, but when asked if any of that usage had been for a diagnosed medical condition, not a single person answered yes.
So why had all these men popped a Viagra if it wasn’t prescribed to them? Let two of the respondents tell you in their own words.
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