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Direct Response Marketing

Field Reports

23 Nov, 2009 By: Thomas Haire, Jacqueline Renfrow Response

Warning Letters From FDA Cause Decline in Drug Marketing
RESTON, Va. — Recent letters sent from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to large pharmaceutical manufacturers have caused a large decline in the number of sponsored link exposures by drug marketers, according to a recent comScore report. Sponsored link exposures dropped by about 50 percent after the letters went out in March, reminding companies that fair and balanced language should be included in all sponsored link advertising.
Prior to the letters, sponsored link exposure in the pharmaceutical market totaled about 11 million per month. Now that number has dropped to about 1 million per month. Unbranded link exposure and vanity link exposures also showed some decline.
On March 26, the Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising and Communications (DDMAC) of the FDA sent letters to 14 major pharmaceutical manufacturers, stating that sponsored link advertisements for specific drugs were misleading due to the lack of risk information.

The largest decline came immediately following the letters, when exposure dropped 59 percent from 10.5 million to 4.3 million, between the week ending March 29 and the week ending April 5. Between March and June, these link exposures dropped a total of 84 percent.

“The FDA letters changed not only how pharmaceutical manufacturers are marketing online, but what consumers are being exposed to when they search for health information,” says John Mangano, vice president of marketing solutions for comScore. “Independent of what is happening on the regulatory front, we see continued increases in consumers turning to the Internet to research health conditions, treatments and drugs. It is important that marketers and the FDA find a middle ground that meets the spirit of the FDA guidelines and is supportable in the various emerging online media."

Mitchel G. Bader>Mercury Media announces the addition of Chris Conderino and Mitchel G. Bader to its executive roster. A New York media specialist, and a speaker at Response Expo 2007, Conderino is named EVP of planning and corporate DR, where she will lead the agency’s new corporate DR specialty practice. Bader is named EVP of finance and operations, where he is responsible for overseeing, directing and coordinating the agency’s financial and operational activities.  

>One year after its debut, Kreg Tool Company releases an updated version of its infomercial. The campaign is created and managed by brand DRTV agency Atomic Direct.

>Moulton Logistics Management and Direct Entertainment Media Group (DEMG) announce a successful direct-to-consumer launch of AB Circle. The new product line represents the successful collaboration between DEMG, its Time-Life licensed music and video enterprise, and Moulton Logistics and is the first step in becoming a major player in health and fitness and top direct response marketing segment.

>PBandJ Partners and Ontel Products announce success on their first cooperative product, the Sure Clip. Both companies are pleased so far with results, especially in a difficult market, and plan to work together again in the future.

>Hawthorne Direct has relocated its western regional office to Los Angeles Center Studios to fulfill the agency’s marketing plans, service West coast clients and provide office space for a growing staff. In addition, Jessica Hawthorne-Castro is named director of client services.

Cole Hartman>Cole Hartman is named the new senior vice president of marketing at the Inter/Media Group of Companies, a new position at the $450-million media and marketing organization. He was most recently vice president, western region, at Horizon Media.


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About the Author: Thomas Haire

Thomas Haire

About the Author: Jacqueline Renfrow

Thomas Haire

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