Friday, April 3, 2009

Continental, Houston Astros' Airline, Hits Foul Ball with HGH-Releaser Ad

Continental, the official airline of the Houston Astros baseball team, hits a foul ball, in my opinion, with a print advertisement in its in-flight magazine topped with the headline: "Grow Young with HGH."

Human Growth Hormone, after all, is banned in Major League Baseball and condemned by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.

I saw the ad yesterday when I flew Continental home to New Jersey from the TravelCom conference in Atlanta.

The advertisement, from BIEHealth.US, is not for synthetic HGH, but for GHR (Growth Hormone Releaser), which is said to be a natural supplement that prods "your pituitary to secrete extra HGH and then accentuate them to full potential with a proper diet and HGH-releasing exercises," according to the website.

Some of these anti-aging products, with their hyperbolic claims, have been condemned by the Federal Trade Commission, although I couldn't find a specific complaint about GHR.

Still, the ad in Continental's in-flight magazine refers to GHR as "the Reverse Aging Miracle" and goes on to say how HGH reverses hemorrhoids, arthritis and angina.

Wow, if only all those professional baseball players, believed to be weaned from steroids and possibly taking HGH, would opt for this natural HGH-releaser instead and perform workouts heavy on the "HGH-releasing exercises."

We'd have a whole new meaning for "The Natural."

C'mon Continental. You are a damn good airline. You are sending the wrong message and you are better than this.

UPDATE: As a commentator below pointed out, Continental doesn't publish its in-flight magazine. It is published by The Pohly Company.

However, Continental is responsible for its own brand, and associating the Continental brand with an HGH-like "natural" supplement, is a screwball move.


Henry said...

This ad is, at best, of questionable taste. Airlines normally don't publish their in-flight magaiznes, though. The magazines are outsourced to third-party publishers, and airlines don't normally "screen" ads (though they may provide guidelines).

Anonymous said...

While there are many products whose ads I would love to see banned, I'm afraid that unless something violates people's human rights or promotes violence (which i would argue many ads do) it is simply is not democratic to ban someone from advertising a legal product.
Many people think junk food ads should be banned because it promotes obesity; that liquor could promote drunk driving or date rape; a Continental airlines ad promotes flying which isn't good for the environment.
As for Continental being the official airline of a pro ball team, does Car + Driver ban ads for alcoholic products, since drunk drivers are responsible for about 15,000 deaths in the US every year?

Astros tickets said...

Even though this is a legal product, I agree that it is in bad taste to promote in the airline's magazine. Someone from Continental should be looking.