“Marketing Daily” (sub req’d) points out that “HerpesHealth.com” is a GlaxoSmithKline web site. The article states:
The initiative, with creative by Ogilvy Healthworld in Toronto, in includes print and television ads that focus on the tagline: “Genital herpes–don’t give your new relationship a gift from the past.” Print ads, to appear in national consumer magazines, show a bottle of perfume–a typical romantic gift–with the words “Genital Herpes” on the label, along with the campaign tagline. The TV spot follows the same creative concept. It shows people passing on a bottle of perfume as if it were being passed from one relationship to the next.
It’s unclear if the fact that the site is “GlaxoSmithKline’s” is hidden because they aren’t legally allowed to market themselves, or if they are deliberately avoiding it looking like a marketing site. Given that the legal footer identifies them as the site’s owner there isn’t much secret, but one senses that this “bury it in the footer” stuff raises suspicions in consumer minds. The average herpes sufferer (take the quiz and find out!) who visits the site will be left wondering why GlaxoSmithKline had to hide. It looks like they are up to something even when it is unlikely they are.
Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on February 21, 2005.