The drug company Merck is launching a $20 million, 6-month advertising campaign with the slogan "Merck. Where patients come first." The campaign, which was created by Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, will include television ads showing "cute children reacting in charming confusion to requests to define 'measles,' 'mumps' and 'chicken pox.' 'Most kids today don't have a clue about diseases adults remember, thanks to Merck's scientists,' a female announcer says." Other ads will tout Merck programs offering reduced-price or free drugs to some people. Ogilvy & Mather's Michael Guarini said it's "simply not the case" that Merck's campaign is a response to the Vioxx scandal. In fact, work on the campaign began two years ago. While acknowledging Merck's and other drug companies' image problems, Guarini said, "it's always good to engage in dialogue, to make sure the public has true, balanced accurate information."
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