Report: Online Pharmaceutical Ad Spending to Jump 25%

Written on
Aug 16, 2006 
Sarah Novotny  |

According to a new study by online research firm eMarketer, pharmaceutical companies are making the shift from the mass market to more targeted online marketing opportunities. As a result, online spending by pharmaceutical companies will increase 25% by the end of this year to $780 million. The “Pharmaceuticals Online: Direct-to-Patient Becomes a Reality” study also predicts that by 2008, online pharmaceutical spending will hit $1.8 billion.

As part of its research, eMarketer cites a report by TNS Media Intelligence that noted in the first quarter of this year, online ad spending by the top 12 drug companies increased 11.2% to $39.6 million, and that’s without counting search advertising. The 2006 spend increases come after a drop in online spending in 2005.

eMarketer notes two reasons for the shift: increasing regulations of pharmaceutical advertising by the federal government, and the fact that 31.6 million Americans go online for their drug and health information. Rather than advertising specific medications, drug companies are providing more informative and community-based promotions centered around specific ailments and treatments.

In a statement, eMarketer analyst and report author Lisa Phillips says, “The result is a shift in focus from direct-to-consumer to direct-to-patient, from mass marketing to relationship marketing.”

Sarah Novotny is a contributing editor at Adotas. Sarah grew up in San Jose, California. Her educational and professional career have taken her to both Los Angeles and New York City where she received a B.F.A. from NYU. As a writer, Sarah has free-lanced for various publications focusing primarily on traditional advertising and media reviews. When not writing and editing for Adotas, Sarah is continuing her acting career in various theatrical and film/television productions.

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