I was perusing some websites this morning as part of my research for an upcoming blog post on Canadian pharmacies, and I was stunned to see the following on my screen:
That’s right: Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix , Canadian pharmacies that promote healthcare, are holding a McDonald’s restaurant promotion. Sounds absurd, but it is true. Shop and buy a certain value of goods in order to receive gift certificates to the fast food restaurant. Note that Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart® (Pharmaprix®in Québec).
Details on the promotion are found below:
The promotion also shows up on their ‘Contact us’ page. Ironically, right underneath the McDonald’s promotion, there is a link to a guide to health and wellness during the cold and flu season as well as the Motherisk program for pregnant women (on the home page) and a promotion for Tree of Life in support of women’s health (on the ‘Contact us’ page).
I have never ranted on my blog before, nor have I ever intentionally pointed out poor marketing tactics. No marketer is perfect, but this is just too unreal to disregard. How can reputable drugstores like Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix talk about healthcare on one hand and then help promote eating at a fast food restaurant afterwards. Now don’t get me wrong. I eat at fast food restaurants on occasion, so this is not an anti fast food post, although I would certainly not promote it.
What I am upset about is the fact that a trusted Canadian healthcare organization is actively promoting an activity that is clearly not a healthy choice. There is a substantial disconnect between Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix’ message and their current fast food promotion. The pharmacy is sending out the wrong message to its consumers, and in my opinion, it risks losing credibility as a result, at least for the short-term.
Tsk tsk Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix! In your “About us” page, you talk about “accoutability”. You didn’t live up to this promise with your current McDonald’s promotion. Please consider cancelling this promotion and stay focused on helping Canadians improve their health. We would all like to live a little longer and a little healthier, and we need healthcare organizations like yours to remind us and motivate us to do the right things to be healthy.
What do you think Pharmaprix should do as their next step? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.