Pfizer said today it will drop its ads for cholesterol drug Lipitor due to criticisms of the TV spots, the New York Times reports. US lawmakers recently probed whether the campaign had inflated the credentials of artificial heart developer Dr. Robert Jarvik. "The way in which we presented Dr. Jarvik in these ads has, unfortunately, led to mis-impressions and distractions," said Pfizer president Ian Read.
Former colleagues also said that Jarvik had not invented the artificial heart, as the ads claim, and critics slammed shots of him rowing, when in fact a body double was used. A Pfizer spokeswoman called the criticisms a distraction and said the company was working on new ads to replace the $258 million campaign.