WASHINGTON (FNS) -- Independent retail pharmacists are charging that a TV commercial touting the reliability of Duracell batteries is inaccurate and demeans the reliability of the nation's independent druggists.
In a letter to C. Robert Kidder, chief executive officer of Duracell, Charles West, executive vice president of the National Association of Retail Druggists, said the 30-second commercial was "condescending to a professional who. . . is the most trusted and respected of all professionals. You would indeed be fortunate if consumers considered your batteries as reliable as the nation's independent pharmacists."
The commercial ran nationally in October and November and is no longer airing, said Jim Donahue, a Duracell spokesman. Duracell received calls from some pharmacists who found the commercial demeaning, Donahue said, adding, "We regret that anyone might have felt that way. It clearly was not our intention."
The disputed battery commercial was part of a series of spots featuring a man asking various people why the Duracell batteries last so long. The pharmacy ad featured pharmacist Mike Delano of Massachusetts.
Reached at his Medford pharmacy, which he has owned for 45 years, Delano said he thought the spot "lifted the image of druggists immeasurably. It proved the sincerity of druggists. I thought it was excellent."
Asked about NARD's complaint that the commercial was inaccurate, Delano said, "When I first came to Medford, there were 36 drug stores. Now there aren't that many. What's the beef? I am one of the last neighborhood pharmacists."