Thursday, September 8, 2011

Effectiveness of DTC Advertising

It has been a while since I've written about physician-pharmaceutical industry relations or DTC (direct-to-consumer) advertising.  My last major article, arguing that promotion and communications by pharmaceutical manufacturers is socially beneficial, is available at this link.

Many criticize the notion that advertising can have any value to patientss.  But a new study by three marketing professors from European business schools shows that research into advertising effectiveness is important.

In their article, reported at this link, they conclude that advertising for breast cancer is too "gender salient". That is, it is too "pink".  As a result women shirk from the ads, rather than learn from them.

Although the research appears to cover ads mostly sponsored by governments and charities, it nevertheless bears upon pharmaceutical companies' DTC advertising.  As we (hopefully) enter an era of personalized medicine, we should also be entering an era of more personalized DTC advertising.

As these European professors have shown, pharmacological R&D must be accompanied by research into effective communications.

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