obay: the (fake) because-i-said-so drug

Have you seen these ads?

We saw these in Mississauga yesterday, two on bus shelters and one on the side of a bus. They're fake ads, for a product that doesn't exist. Possibly a comment on parents over-medicating children? That's just a guess.

When Amy started thinking for herself, we had to nip it in the bud.
Thanks, Obay!

My son used to have his own hopes and aspirations.
Now he has mine. Thanks, Obay!

From the makers of WhyBecauseISaidSo.

They've been noticed in Toronto and London, Ontario, too. Torontoist has done some research, but hasn't come up with anything definitive.

So far nobody knows who is putting them out. There's no website on the ad, no organization name. They're very good. Let me know if you find anything.

Update. See comments!


James said...

There's one on the corner at the end of our street. My suspicion is that it's an anti-Ritalin campaign of some sort. What I don't know is whether it's anti-overprescription, or anti-all-drugs.

L-girl said...

What I don't know is whether it's anti-overprescription, or anti-all-drugs.

That's my issue with many people who disapprove of medicating children. I have no doubt drugs are over-prescribed. But I also have no doubt that there are children with mental illness who can benefit greatly from medication.

It will be interesting to see who reveals themselves as behind these ads.

Craig said...

I just saw them this morning in Ottawa. Trying to find out what they are all about.

deang said...

As someone who has family members who put children on medication for the very reasons given in these parody ads - seriously, almost word for word, I think these ads are wonderful. Wish I could find some downloadable images of them to make into cards to send to said family members.

L-girl said...

They are terrific ads. I thought you, Dean, and our conversations about meds. If I find out who is making them, I'll let you know.

redsock said...

Someone must have contracted with the various city to place the ads on buses and bus shelters. That information is probably not made public, though.

Jen said...

I got this info from http://acunningplan.typepad.com/

There's also a 1-800 number(1-800- YOU-OBAY) Here's the text:

"....Calling 1-888-YOU-OBAY. There's nothing worse than a child who won't do what they're told. You raise them, feed them, cloth them, sit through their violin recitals; and how do they pay you back?? They go ahead and think for themselves!

It's not right and it's not what you had in mind... Thankfully there's OBay! A new remedy from the makers of "why?BecauseIsaidso!" And "NotUnderMyRoof!"

Is your child ignoring your subtle suggestions? Are they not getting the hint when you tell them what to do!? It's time for OBay; Are they making important life decisions without listening to your valuable irriputable input!? Hello OBay! OBay works where other parental controls, like shouting, don't. Just one dose and you'll see a difference... Your truculant teenagers will be transformed into dosile pussycats, open to your thoughts, your ideas and most importantly the future you've mapped out for them.

So order your supply of OBay today... Because YOUR Wish is YOUR command!"

Also an article here:
"Here's Torontoist's article: http://torontoist.com/2008/02/the_ones_that_m.php

... seems like it's Ontario Colleges".

Jen said...

If it is the Colleges of Ontario, then I have to wonder what their spin is/is going to be. That colleges help kids think for themselves? Dunno... I've got a number of classmates (here in Ottawa and in Calgary) who started in nursing "because I'll get a job fer sure" or because "my parents are paying and I have to take something practical".

Also have a bit of an ethical dilemma with an organization that represents a substantial number of future RNs, RPNs & PCAs satarizing the health care system and real medical problems. A number of college students come to school with these problems and the colleges are proud of the centres for students disabilities (physical, learning, attention, or other) that they create.

Maybe I'm being too PC, but that's my knee-jerk reaction.

David said...

Torontoist has got official word from Colleges Ontario: http://torontoist.com/2008/02/obay.php


L-girl said...

Thank you, Jen and David! The text from the recording message is great.

If it is the Colleges of Ontario, then I have to wonder what their spin is/is going to be. That colleges help kids think for themselves?

I don't think that's it, as they are clearly not using the ads to promote themselves or colleges at all.

Colleges themselves may not promote thinking for oneself, but by the time a kid is old enough for college, they are old enough to make their own decisions, and to go up against their parents' ideas if they need to.

I don't see these ads as satirizing health care or medical issues. I see them as satirizing parental desires to control their children long past the age when that is appropriate.

The ads don't say "my daughter was sad all the time and wouldn't leave the house so I gave her a pill to make her more social" or "my son kept saying he hated himself and wanted to die, so I gave him a pill and he shut up". I would find something like that offensive.

The fakes ads specifically say the child was "thinking for herself" or "having his own dreams and aspirations" - which are not symptoms of illnesses, but are normal development. So the parents in the ads are medicating a child to prevent normal development and increase compliance with parental wishes.

That's my take, anyway.