Trend: shift in marketing

January 1, 1999

Pharmaceutical Representative

Pharmaceutical companies continued to pour money into advertising that targets consumers and physicians during the first half of 1998, according to new findings from IMS Health.

Pharmaceutical companies continued to pour money into advertising that targets consumers and physicians during the first half of 1998, according to new findings from IMS Health, Plymouth Meeting, PA.

For that time period, spending on advertising aimed at physicians reached $2.5 billion, or nearly 80% of total promotional spending. Spending on direct-to-consumer advertising reached $631 million.

Primarily, companies invested their dollars in television marketing. Top spenders poured $306 million - more than 48% of the total amount spent on consumer advertising - into commercials. They spent $277 million on magazine advertisements and $50.7 million on newspaper advertisements.

Last year, total spending on television commercials was a mere $302 million, or 28.5% of the industry's total investment of $1.06 billion). Spending on magazine advertisements, meanwhile, exceeded $644 million, or 60.7% of the total.

Heavier investment in new means of promotion does not mean that companies are scaling back on face-to-face selling, however. According to IMS Health, the pharmaceutical industry spent $1.8 billion - nearly 65% of total spending - on face-to-face selling with office-based physicians during the first half of 1998. "This represents a 25% increase over the same period a year ago," IMS Health noted. PR