Am I The Only One Who Doesn’t Get What CVS Is Doing?

healthyIn the spirit of full disclosure, I must say that I am not a fan of most drug stores.  This is especially true of CVS and Walgreens.  It is not personal or even rational, it’s just a thing with me.

Anyway, like most people, I want to applaud CVS for its bold move ending tobacco sales. But I am so suspicious that this is some kind of fake-out.  Is that bad?

CVS Chief Executive Officer Larry Merlo says that by eliminating cigarettes and tobacco products from sale in our stores, “we can make a difference in the health of all Americans.” He continues, “consumers are increasingly taking control of their own health and, through our 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners, we are helping people on their path to better health.”

But CVS openly admits that it has NO PLANS to “to cut back on other unhealthy products, such as high-fat snacks and sugar-laden soft drinks that are a staple of the stores.”

So what’s the deal? Do you care about my HEALTH or don’t you? Are you a “health” company or are you something else? As my dad used to say, there is no such thing as being a little bit pregnant.

And while giving up tobacco may seem like a good brand marketing move, it may also come back to bite you. Consumers are not stupid; they will smell the smoke in the air… and see the unhealthy junk food on the shelves.

So here’s the bottomline: either you are CVS Health or you are not; which is it?

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.