Vaccines are a growing category right now. Any thoughts on how this can play with vaccine advertising?
The adult vaccine market is growing exponentially, because there are so many things in the pipeline. Helping people understand
the true benefit of a vaccine versus the risk of not using it absolutely has an application.
Going forward, what do you think will be the main challenges for your agency in terms of communicating these ideas? What are
the big opportunities?
The one thing we're all wrestling with is the regulatory issues of having this kind of dialogue with consumers. There are
all sorts of data that say [consumers] are getting more information from each other than from any other source. It's a huge
struggle for us as an industry to know how to help them, and make sure they get the right information, especially within a
heavily regulated industry, where we have to report adverse events and can't really comment on off-label usage. As an agency,
it is our duty to help our clients figure that out, but it's not easy. It's going to take the collective wisdom of the industry
to work through it. On the flip side, the opportunity is that pharmaceutical companies, from a public perception standpoint,
have a negative reputation. And part of that might result because of focus on a disease state that nobody really wants to
talk about, such as cancer or cardiovascular disease.
Do adherence and compliance fit under the category of health and wellness, or is that a different discipline?
I think they absolutely fit under wellness, because people fundamentally don't want to be sick. One struggle we face is keeping
people on their medicine. The minute the symptom goes away, or there are no symptoms, or one is diagnosed with something not
necessarily felt, [the patient] stops taking the medicine. They don't want to be reminded morning and night that they're diabetic
or at risk for a heart attack.
But when you talk to them about wellness and a healthy lifestyle, it puts the medicine in the context of feeling good—not
reminding them that they're sick. This is a really important component we're weaving into our adherence programs. We're finding,
and certainly hoping, that will resonate more with consumers.
The other piece of this is getting somebody compliant with medication. For example, medicine will not work for a diabetic
who is not watching what they eat and continuing bad habits. There's compliance and then the success of the compliance as
well, which I find fascinating.