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Acne Complex

It's an as-seen-on-TV product with a cloak of over-the-counter innocence.

acne_ad.jpg
What It Is: A treatment for acne, also designed to help fight other skin problems like rosacea.

Description: There's a face cleanser, a skin lotion and a spot lotion, all in unassuming tubes that look much like drugstore cosmetics.

Price: $29.95 for a 30-day starter kit.

Quote: "It makes them disappear completely - it's almost magic!"

Shills: Former acne sufferers proclaiming how long they've been "clear," thanks to the treatment. Plus a passably attractive spokesblonde who really doesn't get all that much screen time. Acne Complex inventor Dr. Howard Murad makes some short appearances, mostly just to smile benevolently.

Set and Costumes: The old-product dumping seems to take place outdoors, maybe in a parking lot; soft-focused gardens and gentle-colored studio backdrops.

Politics: Centrist. Acne Complex finds a friendly space between crudely frank conservative drug ads and cheeky yet not-quite dangerous liberal ads.

Gimmick: Shots of people dumping out boxfuls of failed acne treatments on a table.

Bonus Gimmick: A slew of before-and-after shots of supposed Acne Complex users.

Extra-Bonus Gimmick: In perhaps the infomercial's only over-the-top moment, a woman tears up as she says: "I can now walk proudly through life and know that when people look at me, they're seeing a beautiful person."

Evaluation: The name "Acne Complex" appeals to people's respect for clinical expertise, not people's respect for the glitz of Big Pharma. That's refreshing, but it also means the Doc isn't entirely ready for the infomercial world. Hell, if his claim of "over one million sold!" is accurate, he might even take the money and get out of the paid-programming circuit entirely. Wimp! I bet he'd rather spend the big bucks on research and development.

Rating: 5

- Scott Gordon



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Posted on February 9, 2007


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