Tuesday, June 15, 2010

DTC Marketing Mix: Radio & Outdoor Ad Spend Soars, Internet Not So Much.

As reported by Nielsen Monitor Plus and reported in the June, 2010, issue of DTC Perspectives, direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising spend by the pharma industry increased by nearly 2% in 2009 versus 2008 (see trend chart below).
 As reported by DTC Perspectives, radio and outdoor "see largest increases in 2009 DTC promotion" (112% and 55%, respectively), whereas Internet spending (display ads only) saw a 31% increase. About 2.6% (a meager $117 MM) of pharma's DTC ad spend budget in 2009 was devoted to Internet display ads (4.4% if you include search advertising, which is estimated to be about 40% of the total Internet spend). The following chart compares the 2009 mix with the 2008 mix.

Not much of a change.


  1. Anonymous11:31 AM

    Thanks for the info, John. Does the report offer any analysis on this low trend of internet DTC advertising? Is it perhaps linked to the FDA's regulations of internet pharmaceutical marketing and how online drug ads must carry risk information?

  2. I didn't find any analysis of the data but I doubt that FDA regulations would figure into these particular numbers. I suspect, however, that spending on paid search advertising by pharma is still depressed because of last year's 14 warning letters from the FDA. Perhaps some of the INCREASE in Internet display advertising was due to a shift from search to display advertising, in which case, FDA regulations actually HELPED the latter category at the expense of the former.


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