Vivienne Kelly

First published July 25th, 2018

The parent company of a weight-loss drug has pulled the plug on plans to advertise during The Bachelor.

Inova Pharmaceuticals, which distributes the prescription-only weight-loss drug Duromine in Australia, had been planning on running ads during Ten’s dating show promoting messages about weight loss. But it insists it never intended to tie the messages directly to Duromine.

In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 means prescription-only medications cannot be advertised directly to consumers.

However, Ten yesterday announced Duromine as a sponsor of the new season of The Bachelor. This morning, Inova told Mumbrella it had cancelled all plans to be involved with the show to avoid any “misunderstanding”.

Inova Pharmaceuticals was in fact going to run a branded content campaign (‘Can Science Take The Weight Off?’) during The Bachelor around health and “the responsible role that medically-managed weight-loss solutions can play”, but insisted the drug Duromine should never have been associated with the promotion, Ten or The Bachelor.

Inova said its “disease state awareness campaign focused on promoting a healthy lifestyle and the responsible role that medically-managed weight loss can play”, is fully compliant with all local laws and regulations as it “does not advertise or endorse the use of any specific therapeutic product”.

“It was never our intention that Duromine be associated with the ‘Can Science Take The Weight Off?’ campaign (or any consumer-related promotion) and we are gravely disappointed that an error on the part of Network Ten has created that association,” an Inova Pharmaceuticals spokesperson told Mumbrella.

“No-one from Inova Pharmaceuticals would ever have allowed an association with Duromine to arise.”

Inova said the move to cancel the campaign was a “serious decision”.

Neither Ten nor Inova Pharmaceuticals have been able to clarify how the brand name Duromine ended up on an official media release from Ten.

Read the full article here.