Weight Loss Drugmaker Eli Lilly Releases Oscars Ad Jabbing People Who Use the Drugs for 'Vanity': 'It’s Not for That'

“Some people have been using medicine never meant for them,” the pharmaceutical company, maker of weight loss injection Mounjaro, said in the commercial

Ahead of the 2024 Oscars this Sunday, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has released a new commercial criticizing people in Hollywood who are misusing weight loss drugs.

The 30-second ad, titled “Big Night,” takes a jab at those who use the company’s weight loss drugs when not medically necessary.

“Some people have been using medicine never meant for them. For the smaller dress or tux, for a big night, for vanity,” a voiceover began as the ad shows preparation for a big event, featuring a red carpet, paparazzi and a woman laying out a glamorous dress. “But that’s not the point.”

The ad then cuts to a woman dressed casually while riding public transportation. The voiceover continued, “People whose health is affected by obesity are the reason we work on these medications. It matters who gets them.”

<p>Eli Lilly and Company/Youtube</p>

Eli Lilly and Company/Youtube

Related: Weight Loss Drugs Like Mounjaro Are Now Available Through Eli Lilly's Telehealth Platform

Eli Lilly is the maker of Mounjaro and Zepbound — brand names for tirzepatide, which works by reducing appetite and improving how the body breaks down sugar and fat. Mounjaro is FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes while Zepbound is FDA-approved to treat obesity.

Many are familiar with the medication due to Novo Nordisk’s competing drugs semaglutide, known by brand names Ozempic and Wegovy, which have gained popularity throughout the past year as many have used them off-label for weight loss.

“We have a point of view about how these drugs are being used,” CEO David Ricks told CNN. “These medicines were invented for people with a serious health condition; they were not invented just to have someone who’s famous look a little bit better.”

Ricks told the outlet that the ad was created to promote Obesity Care Week, and the fact that the Oscars is this weekend is just an added bonus to making their stance on using the drugs for “vanity.”

“It just so happens at the end of the week is a big award show, the Oscars,” he said. “And so we’re kind of seizing that moment to juxtapose those two ideas, that this is a serious condition with a serious medication. We have to use language to talk about the condition beyond just what size dress you fit into or whatever. It’s not for that.”

<p>Sandy Huffaker for The Washington Post via Getty</p> Mounjaro

Sandy Huffaker for The Washington Post via Getty


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Earlier this year, Eli Lilly launched a telehealth website, LillyDirect, that offers at-home prescription delivery services to create more access to drugs like Mounjaro and Zepbound.

At the time, the company released a statement emphasizing that they “stand against the use of its medicines for cosmetic weight loss.”

“Mounjaro and Zepbound are indicated for the treatment of serious diseases; they are not approved for — and should not be used for — cosmetic weight loss,” the company said. “Lilly does not promote or encourage use of Mounjaro, Zepbound, or any Lilly medicines outside of a medicine’s FDA-approved indication.”

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