An Australian artist, Justine Cooper, designed the bogus Havidol Web site, print ads, billboards and TV commercials as a dig at the pharmaceutical industry for the absurd way it markets drugs and at the public for embracing such pitches. Havidol is part of a multimedia exhibit at the Daneyal Mahmood Gallery in New York City.
Cooper’s work so closely mimics genuine pharmaceutical ads that the gallery owner reports that many people don’t realize that the exhibit is satire, despite the ridiculous premise.
Many bloggers took the spoof in the spirit in which it was intended, but a few weeks ago, reports came out that some panic- and anxiety-disorder support groups on the Internet were directing people to the Havidol site in the mistaken belief that Havidol is a genuine product.
Occasionally, I am forced to admit, that sometimes, others can do pharmacy humor almost as well as I do. Take a look at the Havidol site for yourself and see what I mean.