Hey Jude, don’t make it bad

This is Jude Dobson.

Jude Dobson got her big break co-hosting Sale of the Century with Steve Parr in the 1980s.  You can see her in the clip below.  It is a little long but so worth watching for the amazing prizes.  Jude chimes in at the end with a special farewell for someone in Fairfield.

Since Sale of the Century Jude has hosted many light entertainment shows, and has an inoffensive, pleasant tone perfect for afternoon TV infotainment.  She has been the face of Family Health Diary for quite a few years.  I hate Family Health Diary, but they are currently running my favourite ad on TV.  Family Health Diary is carefully presented to appear to be sensible health advice, but is just a front for pharmaceutical companies pushing their products.  Usually their products target people who are somewhat vulnerable: the elderly, the wanting-to-quit smoker, and the anxious pregnant parent.

Here are some highlights from their latest advertisement.

Hold the phone Mark, our sperm count has halved!  WTF! This sounds unbelievably serious.  What should we do about it?

Wait a minute.  Sperm quality has halved, we have toxins in our system and stress that’s too high and you’re suggesting we take a pill?  Surely some kind of major life or even societal change is needed here?

You’ve gotta love the slick but totally meaningless graphic.  It all reminds me of the ads you can find in any 19th century newspaper for medical products that are obviously share quackery.  Ads like these,

Oh well, better move on in the Family Health Diary ad to Anji (not a doctor) who’s flogging Elevit.  It reduces the risk of spina bifida by 92%.  Actually folic acid reduces this risk by 92% and you could just buy folic acid for a lot less, but Elevit comes with other vitamins and iron and stuff so shouldn’t you buy it IF YOU CARE FOR YOUR UNBORN CHILD. On the other hand couldn’t you just do some exercise, eat a balanced diet and take a folic acid supplement?  After all, Elevit costs about one dollar per pill and they suggest you start take it when you start trying for a baby, all through your pregnancy, and while you are breastfeeding.  That’s about three years, or $1000 they want.

I digress.  Here’s why I love this advert.  Jude’s final two lines.

And then this, something I don’t think I ever expected to hear Jude Dobson say on TV:

Wow, Jude is talking to me about my sperm.  I feel, well, a little queasy.

Whatever pays the bills for Jude I guess.

5 thoughts on “Hey Jude, don’t make it bad”

  1. I always felt sorry for Jude in these ads because there was another lady presenter who seemed to be more in your face and seemed to get more screen time. I’m really curious about what Undecimus thinks of Jude’s ads.
    You’re quite right though, the ads do come across as if they’re straight from a concerned chemist.

  2. There’s one difference between Jude’s ad and the ye olde newspapers ads. Nowadays ads that make therapeutic claims have to be pre-vetted to ensure they’re not making up lies. This is the Therapeutic Advertising Prevetting Systems (TAPS). So presumedly the ad has been carefully worded enough to suggest things but never actually say them.

    I like to imagine a NZ family all gathered around the telly, having dinner, when suddenly Judith starts talking about sperm. Sperm, sperm, sperm. Depending on the family, the room would paralyse with an awkward silence, there’d be claims of how disgusting it was, or everyone would start making rude jocks.

    And I don’t want to think about the unfortunate people who are eating yoghurt when the ad comes on.

  3. Yeah, they handle it all in the fine print at the bottom of the screen. The Menevit ad’s fine print says it’s not a fertility treatment which is a somewhat significant point. Champix (quit smoking pills) has a truly awesome selection of fine print which flashes by at an unreadable rate. Here is the Champix fine print:

    – do not take Champix if allergic to varencline or any other tablet ingredients
    – tell your doctor if you have ever had depression, other mental health problems, kidney problems, a history of repeated fits, are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. Some people have had changes in behaviour, mood or thinking including self-harm and harming others
    – some people have had allergic reactions to Champix that can be life threatening. If you get swelling of the face, mouth, throat or a skin rash stop taking Champix and contact your doctor immeadiately
    – there have been reports of heart attacks and strokes in some people taking Champix. Heart attacks and strokes can also be caused by smoking. If you have any of these conditions tell your doctor.
    – common side effects include nausea, constipation, flatulence, dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, difficulty in sleeping and abnormal dreams. If you have other side effects see your doctor.

    Sounds good.


  4. Now that I’ve found the medsafe website, I found this:

    “Menevit is an antioxidant medication. Oxidative stress occurs in our bodies as a result of exposure to environmental factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, pollution, pesticides and other chemicals, stress and/or trauma. Oxidative stress has a negative impact on sperm quality. Antioxidants counteract the reactive oxygen species (ROS) that cause oxidative stress, and so maintain optimal sperm health.”

    I feel that if you’re a dude who is “trying” it would be sensible to perhaps cut out the smoking, booze, stress and toxins in your life rather than carry on doing those things and take Menevit. And remember if there is a bigger issue, Menevit is NOT a fertility treatment.

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