During one of my assignments for Policy & Politics in Nursing, I was reading a book (Critical Condition: How health care in American became big business- and bad medicine) for an essay I was required to write (shock! Another essay?!).
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
Do you ever wonder where a saying came from? This one in particular came from Listerine. Listerine was actually developed as an antiseptic before it became a commercially sold mouthwash. To boost sales, Listerine hired advertisers to come up with a new angle to sell their product. The advertiser heard a company representative say, “halitosis”— then bam! There’s your new angle. Instead of selling a product, it became a venture to sell sex and beauty.
The ad came out with a bridesmaid holding the bouquet with her head in her hands: “Milly caught the bride’s bouquet but everybody present knew that nothing would come of it… that she wouldn’t be the next to marry in a long ways… and they knew the reason why, too. People with halitosis (unpleasant breath) simply don’t get by. It’s the unforgivable social fault.” (p. 202).
So, in other words, if you have halitosis (or think you do, or there could be a chance that you might develop it by eating an onion, or your cousin has it and you might get it…) you need to swig Listerine. Or you will never be loved or married. Crazy, huh?!
Listerine is actually owned by a big-wig pharmaceutical company: Warner-Lambert. Did you know that the United States is one of the only (if not the only) country that doesn’t allow negotiating with pharmaceutical companies? I found Plavix for $50 in another country, and $200 in the United States. Even MEDICARE can’t negotiate prices with these companies.
I encourage everyone to read this book. It’s an eye opener! Anything from pharmaceutical company madness to Wall Street Medicine. Of course, it’s controversial and provocative- but it’s a good read.
In the mean time, do us all a favor and use Listerine (joking).