While the Internet can help people find the medical information they otherwise might not, AOL is proving it can also do more harm than good. Today’s “lifestyle” billboard that pops up as soon as you sign on contains this tabloid headline teaser: “New Pill Promises to Make You ‘Full’ So You Can Lose Big.”
The pill, whose name will go unmentioned here, promises you will “Get the attention you deserve! Feel sexy and attractive! Be desired!” It offers a money-back guarantee yet doesn’t bother to list the ingredients. The actual article, written by a Tufts M.P.H., correctly questions and dismisses the claims of this snake oil. But it is the headline that does the damage and calls into question the credibility of legitimate health news on the portal.
AOL should be embarrassed enough about its financial performance without having to sully its content in hopes of attracting the kind of subscribers who think fitness comes in a pill.