Two-thirds of women would give up shopping at their favorite store for a year to stop their migraine attacks. Excedrin Migraine has launched an advertising campaign with this so-called fact. Seriously? The willingness to give up shopping at a single store exemplifies the impact of migraine a person’s life? Could they have trivialized migraine or women more?
Here are some real statistics from the World Health Organization:
- People with migraine or severe headaches are three times as likely to be depressed than those without. (Whether or not they are clinically depressed, migraineurs are three times more likely to attempt suicide than people without migraine, according to a non-WHO study)
- WHO classifies severe, continuous migraine to be as disabling as dementia, quadriplegia and terminal stage cancer (PDF).
- At least 50% of people with migraine are undiagnosed and undertreated (PDF) and less than half of migraineurs see a doctor for their “headaches.”
- An estimated 113 million work days and more than $13 billion are lost to migraine in the US each year. In the European Union, approximately 190 million work days are lost to migraine every year (PDF).
Daily, migraineurs struggle against the misconception that migraine is “just a headache,” with families and employers who don’t believe or understand how ill they truly are. Advocates have begged Congress and the FDA to notice how debilitating and woefully underfunded this illness is. The last thing we need is an advertising campaign that diminishes the seriousness of migraine and the women who experience it.
The “fact” about shopping and migraine prickles another nerve by asking what someone would give up to eliminate migraines. For a year, I would live in a cave with no human contact, surviving on rats and cockroaches as my only food source. And, yes, I am completely serious, provided that I have fire to cook the rats. Unfortunately, migraine isn’t a game where you can choose your terms; treating it as one only increases the desperation and lack of control that someone this sick already feels.
If you are as horrified by Excedrin Migraine minimizing migraine and treating women as a superficial, please express your outrage on Excedrin’s Twitter and Facebook pages. A consumer boycott of the magnitude I’m likely to launch from The Daily Headache won’t have much of an impact on such large product, but commenting through social media will at least get their attention. As soon as I finish this blog post, that’s where I’m headed. And I still recommend voting with your pocketbook by buying a generic version or mixing your own (250 mg acetaminophen, 250 mg aspirin and 65 mg caffeine).
11 thoughts on “Excedrin Migraine Campaign Trivializes Migraine & the Women Who Experience it”
The migraine experience commercial is a sad sick joke. It fails to simulate hours of vomiting and the pain of having knifes stabbing through your head which are exonentially worse with every wretch. Take your “migraine experience” commercials and locate them where the sun doesn’t shine excedrin. I will never buy a product of any kind sold by Bristol – Meyer Squibb!
Do not be so sure boycotting Excedrin won’t make a difference. With enough people, we can make a difference.
Job well done with ad being changed. I think I have better pain control with Excedrin vs. generic. Now that Excedrin is back on the market I hope I am correct. Has anyone noticed the same thing? Of course it could be wishful thinking.
Kerrie, thank you for writng this blog. You offer a lot of support and helpful info.
I have many painful conditions, and have had what are described as the MOST painful surgeries. There is absolutely not one of these things that trumps chronic migraine, meaning more than 2-3 per WEEK!
While Excedrine(c) helps many with mild to moderate headache, they are clueless when they think taking anything with aspirin in it could help when one has their head over a commode.
Is it more useful than plain ASA or acetamenophen? I think it is, but this promotion is obviously not represented by the people they are targeting, the migraine community. Once again, the patient is left out of the equation. I suggest they consult with a patient or two. Well, that won’t happen, because we would all tell them the same thing. I guess we are now.
Celeste, RN, author, and pain patient/advocate
I’ve always hated Excedrin Migraine commercials which make really make it seem like Migraine is “just a headache,” but this one takes the cake. By the way I don’t particularly even like shopping or have a favorite store so I would give that up for, say, a really good dessert. To stop migraines I’d be with you in the cave with the rats, Kerrie.
I agree its ridiculous. I also hate how their commercials make it seem like their product works for everyone, and that Excedrin Migraine is the exact same thing as the regular version, except a higher price for it to say “migraine” on it. I would give up a lot more than shopping at one store to be rid of my pain.
WOW!! Living with daily chronic migraines always makes want me to throw anything I can get my hand on at the tv when I see your commercials. But this one is completely crossing a line! Get all your facts straight about migraine disease and the impact it has on people’s lives before you make these ridiculous ads!
What?! I’ve already had to give up shopping at my favorite stores because of this disease! I’ve always disliked Excedrin commercials, but WOW… this is a whole new level of ignorance and disrespect. I’ll definitely contact them about it.
Shopping? I only wish that was the only thing I had to worry about with migraines. I demand a public apology!
Excedrin’s commercial’s have always made me want to throw something at the tv, but that is absolutely ridiculous.
Ok, shopping? Are fucking kidding me? I would be willing to give up all human contact, including that of my husband and children for one year if I knew it would end my migraines. Whoever devised this ludicrous campaign has no experience with a migraine that has lasted 5 plus years and basically destroyed me life. Don’t patronize me with this ad.