Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pfizer Reneges on DTC Pledge: Afternoon Viagra Ads Appear on ESPN

Back in 2005, Pfizer said that " all [ED] TV ads will be aired during programs that have more than 90 percent adult viewership" (see "Pfizer DTC Pledge: ED is Litmus Test"). By adult I assume they mean over 18 years of age.

Yesterday, my son -- who just turned 18 -- was watching ESPN (sports) when I heard the familiar "Viva Viagra" ad. It was about 5:25 PM in the afternoon -- not prime time and not when most men over 18 years of age would be home watching TV!

I do not know the exact viewer demographics of these weekday afternoon ESPN shows, but I suspect that much MORE than 10% of afternoon viewers are UNDER 18 years of age, which would mean that Pfizer is not living up to its pledge.

"ESPN is an important brand for teens [in sports]," says Tina Wells, CEO of Buzz Marketing, which tracks trends among young people.

ESPN is extending its brand into retail as a means of strengthening its hold on the hearts and minds of millions of teen and young-adult men, according to this article, which goes on to state:
Teens are one of the prime markets for these products: the company says it reaches 72% of that elusive group each week through one of its outlets. "Our biggest TV viewers are users of other media," says Artie Bulgrin, ESPN’s senior vice president of research and sales development. "We are able to recycle our audience and navigate our audience back to TV."
Gone AND forgotten!
BTW, I could not find Pfizer's DTC pledge on its Web site. Just another indication that it has reneged on the pledge or abandoned it. It used to be here, If you can find it, please send me the link.

P.S. Pharma Marketing Blog's Spoof Viva Viagra Ads TOP the Google Image Search Results!

I have created a few images spoofing the Viva Viagra ad campaign and I am pleased to announce that the #1, #2, and #4 results of a Google Image Search on "Viva Viagra" are my spoof images! Check it out: click here.


  1. Anonymous2:34 AM

    Hi John,
    I've found your link thanks to
    The link to Pfizer's statement is:

  2. Anonymous11:38 AM

    You're right, it's not on the website anymore. You can always find it on prnewswire though.


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