Media and Advertising

How not to name a drug

Ecstasy is not part of the program.

Companies spend millions of dollars on drug names. ED drug names like Viagra and Levitra were chosen to connote virility and elevation. One is led to suspect, then, that claims of Agony's status as a "legendary American product" are somewhat overstated, despite the presence of a proud bald eagle on the box.

Looking at the Chinese name, 傲精力, which translates as "proud stamina", Agony is clearly a virility medication. An ad circular claims it is a product of AWPC (American Wondeboo Pharmaceutical Corporation, aka Wanbang) and BP (American Caroth Biological Physical Laboratory). The testimonials by satisfied wives read like excerpts from smut magazines.

Unsurprisingly, the product has caught the attention of the regulators, who have banned its advertisements for portraying it as a drug when it only has food supplement authorization. This hasn't stopped sales, nor has it prevented unauthorized ads from being slipped in with evening newspapers.

Links and Sources
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives