Pop superstar Lady Gaga faced harsh criticism for doing a commercial for Pfizer’s Nurtec ODT migraine medication. The ad featured the singer performing onstage and is being blasted for selling her image to a pharmaceutical giant.
Some accused her of “killing” her fans.
In a June 13 Instagram post, the celebrity recounted that she dealt with migraine pain since childhood. Lady Gaga said she’d tried the medication for the first time and wished “I had found it sooner.”
Her fans are not very happy about it…https://t.co/0w24LNwY3a
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) June 15, 2023
She added encouragement for her fans to consult with a doctor and “ask about Nurtec ODT today.”
Lady Gaga is not the first celebrity spokesperson employed by Pfizer. Khloe Kardashian has also starred in several Nurtec ODT advertisements prior to the campaign featuring the singer.
The 37-year-old star told Pfizer that her growing up with migraines was “debilitating.” She recalled not being able to read or have lights on, instead being stuck in a quiet room for hours or even days before relief came.
Nick Lagunowich, Pfizer’s global president for emerging markets, described Nurtec as the top prescribed migraine medicine in its class in the U.S.
An issue in March forced the recall of over 4.2 million of the Nurtec 75-milligram tablets, some of which had June 2026 expiration dates. The packaging was deemed to be a poison risk and was not child-resistant.
Some Twitter users reacted harshly to Lady Gaga’s endorsement of the pharmaceutical giant. One noted that “Gaga is doing paid promo for Nurtec. The recession touches all.”
Another more seriously blasted the singer. “Keep pushin’ big pharma…keep killing your fans.”
Still many in Other Little Monsters, the nickname for Lady Gaga’s legions of fans, had her back in the controversy. One tweeted that it is “crazy how hypocritical this fandom is after recognizing the chronic pains Gaga suffers.”
And another posted, “I actually think Lady Gaga partnering with Pfizer Nurtec ODT is a good thing. Migraines are a big issue affecting millions.”
With Pfizer under so much fire for its controversial actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a risky move for such a high profile performer. Many accused the company of profiteering as well as spreading misleading information on the rapidly developed vaccines.