Fourteen (14) pharmaceutical companies made it into AdAge's 2009 list of Top 100 National Advertisers (based on 2008 ad spending data). They are, in descending order of total ad spending:
- Johnson & Johnson
- Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
- Eli Lilly & Co.
- Schering-Plough Corp.
- Merck & Co.
- Boehringer Ingelheim
- Abbott Laboratories
NOTE: P&G, which is primarily a packaged goods company and one of the biggest ad spenders in the US, is not included on this list even though it may market a few pharma products. It was also not included in last year's analysis (see "Marketing Mix of Leading Pharma Advertisers").
The total spend for these 14 pharma companies in 2008 was $6,993,000,000 measured vs. an estimated $5,697,500,000 unmeasured. That represents 12.4% of the total spending in 2008 of the entire group of AdAge's TOP 100 National Advertisers. NOTE: Not all of this represents direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising. Magazines, for example, include B-2-B publications (ie, medical journals focused on physicians).
I plotted the media mix for pharma advertisers vs. non-pharma companies in the list and came up with this (click on the image for a larger view):
Compare this to last year's data (see "Marketing Mix of Leading Pharma Advertisers") and weep:
Internet display ad spending still represents a very small portion of pharma's measured media spending (2.4% in 2008 vs. 3.1% in 2007). Non-pharma companies allocate twice as much of their budgets to the Internet than do pharma companies.
Two pharma companies -- Abbott and AstraZeneca -- stand out from the pack in terms of the percent of their budgets allocated to Internet advertising in 2008 (see figure below; click for an enlarged view).