Men in White

In the early days of television, actors impersonated doctors in commercials and hawked their sponsor’s medical products.


In 1958, these “Men in White” commercials were outlawed. In 1984, the “Men In White” format was slyly resurrected by the makers of Vick’s Formula 44 who produced a commercial where an actor (Chris Robinson) said: “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.”


“I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV. And, when many adults get a cough, they play doctor at home. They treat their cough with the same medicine they originally bought for their children. They need one of the adult formulas from Vicks, for the coughs adults get, with the strength adults need. Formula 44 for coughs. 44D for coughs with congestion. And, now, Formula 44M for coughs with congestion and a raw irritated throat. The adult formulas. You can’t buy anything more effective.”

Note: Chris Robinson portrayed Dr. Rick Webber on the daytime drama General Hospital from 1978 until 1986. The Vicks ad campaign was so successful that the Vicks execs re-cast it in 1986 with All My Children’s Peter Bergman, aka Dr. Cliff Warner.

See also“Vick’s TV ad with Peter Bergman” @ You Tube


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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