Monday, May 09, 2011

Mr Men Man, Roger Hargreaves, Honoured by Google - What About the Mr Men GSK Connection?

Mr Sneeze and GlaxoSmithKline


Using the Google search engine this morning brings you into the world of Roger Hargreaves, the creator of the Mr Men series of books... they later went on to be featured as a popular TV show for children.

Hargreaves would have been 76 today, sadly he passed away on 11 September 1988.

This has prompted me to rehash an article I wrote some time ago regarding Mr Sneeze and GlaxoSmithKline.


Back in 2003, Roger Hargreaves son, Adam, wrote a book entitled 'Mr. Sneeze and His Allergies'.

It told how Mr Sneeze starts to sneeze "in the middle of summer". His friend, Little Miss Sunshine, suggests he may have hayfever.

Mr. Men educating our children it seemed.

It continued by telling the reader [Children] that Miss Sunshine discovered that he was allergic to the feathers in his pillow. All good educational stuff one would assume but why tell children about allergies? Was there some sort of motive behind this?

Step forward the genius that is GSK.

The story was followed by four pages of information on allergies from Allergy UK and two pages promoting the use of GSK products Piriteze and Piriton.

Over 50,000 copies of the book were printed in 2003 and many were sent to holders of Tesco clubcards.

Apparently the MHRA were unaware of the book and stated at the time that they "will investigate urgently."

I wonder what the outcome of that investigation was?

According to this source the book was paid for by GlaxoSmithKline.


Piriton is sold by GlaxoSmithKline and this from their own webpage - "Trusted by generations of mums, Piriton provides fast relief from hayfever and other allergies. Piriton also relieves the itchy skin rash of chickenpox, and can be taken as syrup or tablets."

Piriteze is also sold by GlaxoSmithKline and the blurb for this reads: - "From the makers of Piriton, an effective, once-a-day treatment for hayfever and skin allergies. And as Piriteze does not normally cause drowsiness, it can help you and your family enjoy life outdoors."

More can be read about GSK and Mr. Sneeze here and here - the last link being from the British Medical Journal.

For those of you who wish to re-live your childhood, you can watch Mr. Sneeze here.