Despite extolling the ability to “express yourself” while under the influence of Botox in recent TV “reminder ads” — which, BTW, go against the self-imposed industry ban on such ads — TV studios are finding it increasingly difficult to find women actors who can express themselves, according to Wall Street Journal article (“The Backlash to Botox“).

Left, Janice Dickinson (Botox Banal) in scenes from her reality show, ‘The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency’; right, Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Botox Free) in ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine.’

“The rarest commodity in TV these days, say veteran casting directors: stars without Restylane-frozen faces and collagen-inflated lips.”

Botox Not Comical
“Successful sitcoms,” notes the WSJ, “including ‘Old Christine,’ typically feature actors and actresses who use a heavy arsenal of facial expressions. Failed comedies — for example, ‘Hope & Faith,’ ‘Listen Up’ and ’20 Good Years’ — often feature performers that border on cardboard caricatures. ‘Frozen isn’t funny,’ says [Joel Thurm, who served as Aaron Spelling’s casting director].”

Also not comical are some of Botox’s possible side effects and adverse events, including respiratory arrest, paralysis of swallowing muscles serious enough to require the insertion of a feeding tube, arrhythmia and myocardial infarction. Some cardiovascular events associated with Botox were “fatal” according to the BOTOX package insert.

Of course, none of these have to be mentioned in the “Express Yourself” Botox ads because FDA does not require it in reminder ads, which do not mention what the product is approved to treat. Obviously, Allergan, who makes and markets Botox, would prefer NOT to mention these bad things, hence it continues to run reminder ads despite the drug industry’s self-imposed ban on such ads (see “Allergan Ignores Guidelines, Wins Award Anyway” and “PhRMA Intern vs. BOTOX!“).

You also won’t easily find these possible side effects and adverse reactions on the Botox web site, which merely states “Do not use BOTOX Cosmetic if you:

* have an infection where BOTOX Cosmetic will be injected
* are allergic to any of the ingredients in BOTOX Cosmetic
* are pregnant or think you might be pregnant.”

It then states “Ask your doctor or pharmacist for the Professional Package Insert for complete information.” And if you scroll way down to the bottom of the screen, you can click on “Prescribing information” and read the package insert. If you make it to page 2, you will find the nasty stuff.

The “Express Yourself” reminder ads are an obvious reaction to the well-documented lack of expression often associated with Botox. This “side effect” of Botox, which is not listed in the package insert as a side effect, is driving US TV studios to hire British actresses who are not so medicated. According to the WSJ, this contributes to the “increasing globalization of television casting.”