One of my pet peeves and something I am always grabbed by is bad advertising. Bad, not in the sense of terrible creativity which is bad in its own right, but rather ads that can be fraudulent or in some cases actually dangerous. The one that gets me these days is Cologuard TV commercials. The company presents Cologuard as the simpler alternative to a colonoscopy. And that might be true but, (no pun intended) the post script, the fine print says one thing that questions, in my opinion, its usefulness and could even make it dangerous. The commercial says “False positives and false negatives may occur.” I can understand a false positive which means you don’t have colon cancer but it says you do. No real harm is done. If it’s a positive, you naturally would follow up, maybe with a colonoscopy, but you would verify with your doctor one way or the other the true condition. But a false negative, that’s very different. On their website they say “patients with a negative test result should discuss with their doctor when they should be tested again.” But a false negative result signifies you have colon cancer but Cologuard says no. How do you know the negative result is false? You don’t. The practical result is it can give a false sense of security that things are ok, which could be disastrous. As far as I’m concerned, that makes the product’s usefulness questionable.
I will be exposing others. As Rachel Maddow would say, “Watch this space.”