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Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Nov. 28

Pfizer Pulls Plug on Video Game

The Food & Drug Administration is prudishly taking the viva out of Pfizer's (PFE) Viagra video game.

The pharmaceutical giant pulled the plug on Viva Cruiser, an "advergame" designed to promote the company's popular erectile dysfunction drug, according to the latest edition of international business Web magazine Multinational Monitor. The video game, which was running on Forbes.com earlier this month, was pulled shortly after the FDA pressured Pfizer to remove a video ad that was airing on CNN.com without the required warning messages.

In the Viva Cruiser game, players guided a motorcyclist down a desert road picking up gifts for a date, including small, diamond-shaped blue pills (you know the ones). Viagra's "Viva Viagra" theme song played in the background with a narrator's voice saying, "Don't let erectile dysfunction get you down."

Don't they have bigger issues to worry about in Washington these days?

We at The Five Dumbest Lab believe that it was awfully limp of the FDA to neuter Pfizer's online-ad campaign.

Not that it matters to the FDA, but many other video games promote far more dangerous human interactions. Consider Take Two's (TTWO) violent Grand Theft Auto or Midway's (MWY) Mortal Kombat.

The dumbest thing about all this is that the FDA has never published any online advertising regulations. Pfizer might not be pushing boundaries if they knew where they were drawn.

Dumb-o-meter score: 80 -- Bring back Viva Cruiser. Make love, not war games.

Stock quotes in this article: EPIC, PFE, NYT 

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