Direct to Consumer: Is Branding Enough? - Pharmaceutical Executive


Direct to Consumer: Is Branding Enough?
Reminder ads play an interesting role in the new DTC era.

Pharmaceutical Executive

For Paula Garrett, consumer brand manager for Cialis, it points to the importance of using reminder ads as part of the marketing mix. "We never run reminder ads alone because it will not benefit the patient." For an ad buy over a three-month period, Cialis runs fully branded ads during at least eight out of the 12 weeks, which may also include a combination with reminder ads during that time, says Garrett. It also supports events like the PGA tour.

Outlook FDA's warning over the Viagra reminder ad made industry re-examine the entire tactic. Although many execs, like Ehrenthal, see Viagra as "an absolute anomaly," as consumers become more aware of drugs, industry must decide: Is communicating a brand name enough?

Although manufacturers are aware of increased scrutiny on reminder ads, Devereux thinks pharma will continue running them. DTC in general is moving toward more personal messaging, she says, and reminder ads are a part of that.

For now, Abrams says regulations on reminder ads will stay the same: "We look at advertising and its representation. If it goes over the edge, we will take action."

Awards Partners+simons was honored with the Arnold Z. Rosoff Award for "marketing to a diverse audience" for its work on behalf of The United Way of Massachusetts Bay. Quantum won two Silver Awards for creative excellence at the DTC National Advertising Awards Dinner: "best branded television" for AstraZeneca's cholesterol treatment Crestor (rosuvastatin) and "best radio campaign" for Johnson & Johnson's Retin-A Micro (tretinoin), a topical acnetreatment.

People Phil Deschamps, president of GSW Worldwide, takes on the additional title of chief executive officer. The company also promoted Marcee Nelson to executive creative director of its Columbus office. Stonefly Communications Group named R. Steven Lang senior vice president / client advisor. Peter Siegel,formerly with Torre Lazur, becomes executive creative director at The Hal Lewis Group.

Amy Lynn Tobbagi is a freelance writer. She can be reached at


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