It is common practice in business to get celebrity endorsers for a product or service. This is a manifestation of the inferiority of the product or service, for if a product or service is superior, it will be able to sell itself. Moreover, the more worthless a product or service is, the more aggressive will be the advertising campaign – in the form of a more prominent celebrity endorser and more frequent exposure (i.e., more placement ads on print and broadcast media, as well as people handing out flyers and brochures and testimonials).
But this is not the bone of contention. It is when the product or service has been proven to be not only useless or little value but to be detrimental – especially to health or to the environment.
The problem is not so much that the product or service is harmful but nothing (or not enough) is being done to solve the problem.
Take the situation in the United States of America where it has repeatedly been proven a certain pharmaceutical is harmful to health. The most that has ever been taken is to bring the pharmaceutical firm to court and exacting damages and compensation and nothing more.
What makes it more pitiful is that the amount exacted does not even come near the insanely indecent profits that have been made – a measly few millions (even hundreds of millions) as against the billions made. Any such triumph is but a token triumph. The pharmaceutical company merely “shrugs off” the loss and continues with its business of selling poisons, as if nothing happened. True justice would not have only shut down the entire operations but hauled the company executives and the experts who were involved in the development and “studies” – in other words, the people who are responsible for bringing the poison to the market.
Furthermore, even if this were to happen – which, in the Philippines, is known as a “suntok sa buwan“, literally “punching the moon” – it would still not be enough. What about the advertising agency and all the endorsers who were party to the “crime”. If not for them, the product may not have been accepted by and sold to gullible, unsuspectingly-trusting, and “loyal” consumers. Not only are these ad agencies and celebrities involved, they also profited. They, likewise, should be held accountable for any and all damages incurred by consumers.
In addition, what about the (quack) doctors who prescribe and dispense the poisons? They ought to be held responsible too, otherwise they will not learn anything – they will not realizwe that, next time, before they hand out such poisons, they should be sure not only of their effectivity but also their safety.
But the stark reality is none of these happens. No one goes to jail; the pharmaceutical just continues making huge profits; the endorsers quietly and guiltlessly pocket the sums of loot; and the health care professionals keep their gifts and perks and blood money. If I were one of the wrong parties, I would not accept the compensatory amounts because it would make me appear that I can be bought (I have a price). Instead, I will insist on having all parties involved punished (accordingly, to their degree of complicity and of conspiracy).
But all this is wishful thinking; I would be a Don Quijote. Well, if I shall be then so be it. Justice must never be compromised.