Direct to Consumer: The Campaign Conundrum - Pharmaceutical Executive


Direct to Consumer: The Campaign Conundrum
Pharma companies struggle to get local support for their global campaigns.

Pharmaceutical Executive

For many years, there has been a big effort to develop global campaigns, but they have failed at the local level because there's resistance. Often you'll hear local affiliates of companies say, "We want to use our own agency to draw up our own campaign." So, it was never really pushed down by the headquarters of the big pharmas to the local level.

And it's still not pushed down the way it should be. If you look at the consumer side, however, it's in place for the most part. But in the pharmaceutical industry, you don't have the same kind of mandate coming down from the CEO of the corporation. We'll see this changing. There isn't a terrific history of global campaigns in our industry, but I think it is happening now for the first time in many years.

What aspects of global communications are companies still figuring out?

The biggest hurdle that our clients are facing is gaining the support of the local subsidiaries that now show a high level of resistance to taking what was developed centrally from the headquarters. Instead of using what was developed in its entirety or reworking some portion of it, often, they'll just rely on their local agencies to do business as usual. Big pharmas today are still struggling with that.

How can they improve the situation?

Pharma executives have come to the realization that in order to gain the support of the locals, there has to be some financial incentive involved. And that's where we are now with global procurement teams that are negotiating global contracts or pan-regional contracts to offer added incentives and better pricing for one's work (as long as the volume increases). This way, the local subsidiaries end up saving money in the end. That is something that is now being massaged and developed by a lot of the big pharmas.

What advice do you offer companies in the midst of developing a global campaign?

They have to think about how they're going to grow their business in the future, assuming their client base is thinking globally for their brands. And we know that they are. They must develop effective programs for clients that aren't based on advertising alone, but offer medical education, direct marketing, database marketing, research, and strategic planning. It's important that clients really exercise proper due diligence when selecting and picking agencies for global assignments.


Renee Davis
Gina Ashe has been appointed senior vice president, healthcare director at Rapp Collins Healthcare. The Hal Lewis Group promoted Andrea Begley from account supervisor to group account supervisor. Julie Tye was promoted to senior manager of support services at Abelson-Taylor.

Jay Orenstein
Renee Davis was also hired by Abelson-Taylsor as a presentation specialist. Daniel Jay joined GSW Worldwide as associate creative director. In addition, Rebecca Karger joined the company as a copywriter and Jay Orenstein was hired as director of creative services.


Rebecca Karger
Rosetta Marketing Group, a segment-based marketing firm, acquired SimStar, a company that provides relationship marketing services to pharmaceutical and biotech fields. SimStar will now operate as a division of Rosetta.


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