All aspects of medical journals should be open to scrutiny, including articles, reviews, editorials, the peer review process—and even advertisements. Opinions about advertisements have been aired through the years, mostly in letters and editorials (1). Until now, however, few researchers have bothered to subject advertisements to rigorous study (2).
In this issue of Annals, Wilkes and colleagues (3) take up the challenge. They report a study of how well pharmaceutical advertisements appearing in medical journals meet some basic standards for accuracy, completeness, and balance. The authors selected advertisements from 10 leading medical journals and had two experts in the clinical