Big Pharma Takes to The Streets to Hawk Allergy Med

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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Those of you trolling the streets of Manhattan in an allergy-induced haze may have stopped sneezing long enough to notice some curious fliers posted on assorted lampposts, scaffolding, and telephone poles around the city. The fliers, at right, are fashioned to look like the amateur handiwork of a sad little boy looking for information as to the whereabouts of his lost puppy. Upon closer inspection, though, they're actually a clever guerrilla marketing ploy from multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company McNeil-PPC, makers of the over-the-counter allergy med Zyrtec. A representative handwritten ad reads: "MISSING. 2 HOURS. Last seen while waiting for Claritin to start working. If found please call 1-800-4-ZYRTEC." When the number is dialed, a chirpy female operator delivers the following message:

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