Direct to Consumer: DTC or DTP - Pharmaceutical Executive


Direct to Consumer: DTC or DTP
A guide to the strategies and subtleties of consumer marketing.

Pharmaceutical Executive

Viagra is one DTC success story that has run into some big challenges. Ads featuring former US presidential candidate and senator Bob Dole were extremely effective in alerting the public to the availability of a treatment for erectile dysfunction syndrome. Yet some have suggested that the campaign may have estranged a younger generation of consumers in the process. Despite the campaign's success, Pfizer has since struggled to reverse the "elderly" stigma established by Viagra's initial DTC campaign.

It is also not always easy to determine whether an audience is best served by a broad-based approach, a narrower one, or a combination of the two. For instance, DTC is a particularly effective strategy for products with a high number of potential users, but it may also be appropriate in certain circumstances for products with fewer potential patients.

Hone gives the example of a multiple sclerosis product that was originally marketed through a direct response ad in newspapers and Sunday magazines. Using the responses, the company was able to evaluate the need for the product and to create a patient base. Thereafter, DTP marketing became its marketing strategy of choice.

Industry and ad executives alike hope that a better understanding of the terms DTP and DTC can help prevent costly mistakes arising from confusion. By going into marketing and advertising proceedings equipped with the same definition of these important concepts, they can start building a successful DTP or DTC campaign from day one.

Accounts Novartis' $350 million prescription drug business goes to Deutsch, New York and Integrated Communications, both of the Interpublic Group of Cos.; DDB Worldwide and Cline Davis & Mann, both Omnicom shops; and two others. The CementWorks is agency of record for Vicuron's dalbavancin, a developmental antibiotic for skin and soft tissue infections. Torre Lazur McCann was awarded the consumer launch for Mucinex (extended release guaifenesin) by Adams Respiratory Therapeutics.

Launches Daniel Teper, formerly COO of GSW Worldwide's international and specialty marketing division, is CEO of Energy! & Co., a strategic communications initiative he oversaw at GSW. Indigenus, a global cooperative network of independent healthcare communications agencies covering 70 percent of the global pharmaceutical market, has been launched.

People Fred Kellogg stepped down as CEO of Nelson Communications.

Richard Levy resigned the presidency of HealthSTAR Advertising. GSW Worldwide welcomes Marcee Nelson as senior vice-president/group creative director, Jim O'Neill as vice-president/account director, and Tom Watkins as senior director, market research. Arista Marketing Associates hired Scott Olson as director of business development. The CementWorks appointed Peter Zamiska chief creative officer and enlisted Todd Neuhaus as senior vice-president, creative director.

Steven Girgenti
Sir Martin Sorrell's Empire Grows It's been a constant stream of news on the mergers and acquisitions front from WPP this fall. Taken together, those steps exemplify the scaleability that WPP is building outside the United States.

Margot James
Its most publicized action was the September buy-out of Grey Global Group (GGG). That agency acquisition brought with it approximately 10,500 employees, new healthcare clients such as Boehringer Ingelheim, and benefits of scale in areas where it matters—like media buying.

Next, Healthworld Communications Group merged with Ogilvy Healthcare to form Ogilvy Healthworld (both WPP agencies). Steven Girgenti, worldwide CEO of Healthworld, assumes leadership for the new company. Margot James, current head of Ogilvy Healthcare Europe, becomes regional president of Ogilvy Healthworld Europe.

Only a few days after, WPP announced its next agency action: J. Walter Thompson acquired 30 percent of the issued share capital of Guangzhou Newsun Insight Advertising, which is located in China.

In other WPP news, CommonHealth unveiled a new operating philosophy and corporate identity that conveys a more integrated approach by its 12 business units to client work. For more information, visit


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