Last week I criticized some of the American Medical Association's ads. Today Medical Economics offers an explanation of the ads:
The general behind it is Gary C. Epstein, the AMA's chief marketing officer. Before joining the AMA in 2004, Epstein worked to develop "brand-building solutions" for clients like Proctor & Gamble, Kraft Foods, and Pepsi. In his new role, he hopes to do much the same for the AMA.
One of his strategies is to reach out to doctors indirectly, through their patients. In a series of consumer ads that began running last summer, the AMA pays homage to the profession's "everyday heroes"—doctors across a variety of specialties who've touched peoples' lives in ways both large and small. Both the print and broadcast versions are powerful, tug-at-your-heart messages calculated to enhance public goodwill.
Gary C. Epstein should be fired. If the AMA wants to reach out to doctors, it should lower its membership fees. It's a waste of money and insulting for the AMA to try to reach out to doctors through our patients.