There Is No Good Way to Advertise Catheters

Last Updated Jan 21, 2010 6:16 AM EST

There's no good way to advertise catheters, as these three commercials prove. Bad acting? Weird scripts? Mental imagery that will make you want to poke your eyes out? Check, check and check!

Medical Care Club's spot, a current staple of the smaller cable channels, begins with a kindly old woman addressing the camera, her hands clasped in prayer:

I use catheters. It's so messy and expensive ... I wish there were a better way!
Now there is! A "doctor" waves a fistful of catheters at you, insisting that you "Stop using dirty catheters!"

Apparently, Medicare rules changed recently and where consumers were once only able to buy four catheters a month, now they can get up to 200. The doc rejoices:

Use em once, throw 'em away!
Turns out there's a war going on in the catheter supply market, because Liberator Medical Supply has an equally badly acted commercial of its own. In it, "Holly" tells viewers she was "forced" -- yes, that's the word she uses -- to reuse her catheters:
I was so sick of boiling, drying and reusing old catheters!
Quite! She continues:
I was nervous about calling strangers, but these strangers quickly became my friends.
Huh? (Although she's plainly not nervous about appearing on television to confess to the U.S. that she was devastated when she found out she had to use catheters for the rest of her life.)

If you liked "Holly" as a blonde, you'll love her as a brunette in this commercial, in which a different actress she reads the identical script, proving that this ain't a real patient:*

* Correction: I am now convinced that the patient in both ads, Holly Clark, is the same person but with different hairstyles. Apologies for the error.