Monday, July 21, 2008

Lack of Online Pharma Advertising

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The top 13 pharmaceutical companies that were included in AdAge’s 2008 list of 100 National Advertisers spent $6,998,700,00 on advertising. Based on the amount that they spent in total they were responsible for roughly 13% of total spending for the combined top 100 spenders. What intrigued me the most, however, was that amount that pharmaceutical companies spent in Internet advertising in comparison to organizations across other industries. Below is a graph depicting the differences in spending.

One bloggers opinion is that the Internet is not proficient for reaching a mass market, and therefore is not a huge part of pharma advertising budget. Instead as the post states there is a “lack of reach in comparison to TV and magazines.” Also stated in the viewpoint is that “the Internet is not nearly as motivating as TV in getting consumers to visit their doctors and ask for a specific brand of drug.” The post also discusses that until the Internet starts to model the TV more, for example expand You Tube, pharmaceutical companies will continue to invest more heavily in TV and magazines in comparison to other companies.

Another opinion, as posted in this blog is that ROI for online pharma ads is not only bad, but sometimes even negative. Pharma Exec magazine stated that online ad spending decreased by 5% in 2007 from 2006 for the pharmaceutical industry. In a closed door session, 14 Pharma executive directors, stated that they “are still in the dark about the bang they are getting for their online buck. No one has been able to draw the direct line from online marketing to prescriptions.”

What are your opinions on the lack of online marketing spending by Pharmaceutical companies?

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