For those who have been following, Channel 5 have replied for a second time regarding their collaboration with British pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline.
Basically, in 2013, Channel 5 agreed to place the GlaxoSmithKline brand, Maxi-Nutrition, in the Big Brother house. It is unknown how much GlaxoSmithKline paid Channel 5 for this.
I wrote to Channel 5 and pointed out Glaxo's recent admittance of guilt in the United States, whereby they admitted to making false and misleading claims about a number of their products.
Initially, Channel 5 seemed unconcerned. See emails here.
Channel 5 have now replied for a second time and, as a matter of public interest, I have wrote back to them for a third time.
Here is their reply, followed by mine.
Thank you for your further e-mails.
The comment to which you make mention was merely intended to make it clear that Channel 5 would not accept advertising or sponsorship for a product about which false or misleading claims were made and was not referring to the past activities of GlaxoSmithKline. Whatever the conduct of the company in the USA in relation to different products, Channel 5 is unaware of any reason which would cause Aquafresh or Maxi-Nutrition products to be undesirable products to be associated with Big Brother.
Channel 5 is a private company and as such is not obliged to comply with Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requests. For further details on the FOI and the organisations to which it applies please visit the following UK Government website:
Although Viacom is Channel 5’s parent company, we do not divulge contact details for individuals within this company. We would suggest visiting the official Viacom website at www.vimn.com in order to find contact details for personnel at this company.
Thank you for your interest in Channel 5.
My reply to the above...
Thank you for clarifying matters.
It appears that Channel 5 took into account GlaxoSmithKline's guilty plea of false and misleading claims (fraud) and still accepted their advertising/sponsorship. It also appears, if my judgement is correct, that Channel 5 also took into account the current UK litigation against GlaxoSmithKline, litigation that has been on-going for almost 10 years. Once again, Channel 5 decided to go ahead with accepting GlaxoSmithKline's advertising/sponsorship.
It seems quite remarkable that in 2013, despite the above knowledge, Channel 5 agreed to enter into this deal with GlaxoSmithKline, particularly when, one year later, in 2014, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned an ad for GlaxoSmithKline's MaxiNutrition brand for exaggerating its health benefits. The ASA ruled that because not all of the MaxiNutrition products contained protein, the ad could be misleading to viewers. - Source.
Although this happened approx one year after Channel 5 struck a deal with GlaxoSmithKline, it highlights that the brand featured in the Big Brother House, to millions of viewers, was a brand that was actually misleading Big Brother viewers.
Do Channel 5 have any plans to inform Big Brother viewers of this and/or do Channel 5 have any future plans to work with GlaxoSmithKline again?
Once again, if Channel 5 reply I will, as a matter of public interest, strive to publish what they send me.
As a side note here, Channel 5 and Viacom, even GlaxoSmithKline, may think that I am acting rather churlish chasing this. Truth of the matter is, I don't really care what they think. Personally, I believe GlaxoSmithKline have got away with far too much over the years, often seen making settlements to mothers who have had to abort fetuses because Paxil harmed their child. Or, in other instances, making settlements to mothers who have endured childbirth only to learn that their child has been born with heart defects or skull defects caused by Paxil. I don't like the way their attorneys turned up **mob-handed at Sara Carlin's inquest either, nor the defence they used regarding her suicide. I don't like the way they claim that people taking their antidepressant do not suffer addiction when it's quite clear that Paxil has caused many thousands to suffer addiction. I'm not particularly fond of their attorneys either - yes, I do understand that everyone is entitled to a defence - problem I have is the individual attorneys who know their client has, in the past, hid important suicide information and withdrawal information from the public. In my eyes, they are just as guilty as GlaxoSmithKline.
To be honest, I'm pissed off with companies such as Channel 5 and Viacom and famous people, many of which the public look up to, Jenson Button (McLaren) and Dame Kelly Holmes, for example, attaching themselves to GlaxoSmithKline without, it seems, caring about Glaxo's past. I'm gobsmacked at the Queen for handing Glaxo's boss a knighthood for 'services rendered to the pharmaceutical industry' - we are talking about the same man who has refused to discuss the Seroxat addiction issue with many patients who, still, struggle to get off the drug his company make. What is it with these people who feel no shame in working alongside or endorsing this pharmaceutical company? Instead of being associated with them they should come out and start asking questions about this company - asking them why they hid the Paxil suicide link in children would be a start. Maybe the likes of Button and Holmes could then ask Glaxo why they paid leading psychiatrists wads of cash to promote the use of Paxil in children when they knew there was an increased risk of suicide if children took this drug. Or is this just about money?
It's high time companies such as Channel 5 and Viacom were put into the spotlight and asked why they would associate themselves with criminals, yup, it's safe to say that GSK are criminals thanks to the plea of guilty by them in the whistleblower lawsuit which saw them fork out a massive $3 billion in fines. No jail time just a handful of cash from the huge profits made on the very same drugs that they were found guilty, or rather pleaded guilty, to selling whilst misleading the public with false and misleading claims. Not even Hollywood writers and directors could come up with something so perverse and unbelievable!
Many advertising deals are, I assume, struck with GSK. Dinners, gifts and lots of backslapping - nothing ever changes. It, as always, is left to the man/woman on the street to fight their own corners because, it appears, the privileged and the rich just want to continue being more privileged and even richer.
It's kind of sickening and really does leave a bitter taste in my mouth but hey, I'm just the man on the street so who really cares if I feel sickened or not?
I could go on and on...
Seroxat - Emails From The Edge. The second BBC Panorama documentary regarding Seroxat/Paxil addiction.
It's a documentary that, for one reason or another, hasn't really been uploaded anywhere for people who missed it when it was first broadcast in 2003. The first, 'The Secrets of Seroxat' (2002) can be seen here.
**mob-handed (just in case Glaxo's attorney's don't know the definition) - (informal) in or with a large group of people.