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When I Grow Up I Want to Be... Hit On By Doctors?

When I Grow Up I Want to Be... Hit On By Doctors?

Elana Centor | FunnyBusiness

Cheerleading, it seems, is a talent that pharmaceutical companies hold in high regard when evaluating new candidates to become a drug rep.

First reported in 2005 by Stephanie Saul in the New York Times, and reprinted in the International Herald Tribune, the article talks about the strategy of using cheerleaders to boost drug sales.

More recently, The Brazen Careerist resurrected the article to create an advice column for attractive women who must deal with getting “hit on” during the sales process.

“And what happens when the best girl for the job goes to work every day? She gets hit on. Constantly. And even when it’s not a direct hit, it’s a guy who is married and bored and not bored enough to cheat, but definitely bored enough to take too much face time from the salesperson while he’s making a purchasing decision. Not convinced? According to the Times article, an informal survey showed that 12 of 13 medical saleswomen said they had been sexually harassed by physicians. And if you think it’s only physicians, you’re wrong. It’s even Hewlett-Packard board members.”

Trunk offers some advice. Here are the first two.

"1. It’s not your fault. It is totally common to get hit on at work, especially if you are a cheerleader type. You are not provoking this behavior. You are being you, and men like you. Do not feel bad about this. And, definitely don’t wear dowdy clothes just becuase the men are hitting on you. Anyway, women who totally downplay their sexuality are seen as less competent.

2. Use it to your advantage. Men who are attracted to you are more likely to buy from you. So what? Men who like to play golf are more likely to do business with other men who play golf. People have been given unfair preferences forever. Be glad you are the recipient of some of this. If the guy wants to talk with you for too long, fine, as long as he buys something. That’s what salespeople get paid to do: Connect with the customer and talk until they buy."

Okay. I’m crying uncle. If this is advice,then I should take my mother up on her suggestion to the teenage me when I told her I was bored. Her suggestion, “Go bang your head against the wall.” Right now,mom’s advice sounds brilliant. But back to the cheerleaders.


Sarahparkin has been blogging about the cheerleader-pharmaceutical connection for the past two years.

“We posted last football season about how pharmaceutical companies were beginning to view former cheerleaders as ideal candidates to be pharmaceutical representatives. The explanation had to do with enthusiasm, of course…. But one cannot help but wonder whether the pharmaceutical marketing folks perhaps had some other characteristics in mind. That suspicion is raised further by the recent designation of Ms Donna Chiafair, another pharmaceutical representative, as Miss FHM for 2006. FHM is a men’s magazine known for publishing revealing pictures of attractive young women. The relevant press release is here. For those interested, a Google search might be much more, shall we say, revealing.”