Sanofi teams up with Tiger Pistol for pharmacy-level social media campaigns after consumer med blunders

Sanofi is looking to boost its market share for key health and beauty products by launching what it calls “highly localized” social media campaigns from the Facebook Pages of the independent pharmacies where the French pharma’s products are sold.

To do this, the Big Pharma is teaming up with Texan advertising company Tiger Pistol to broaden its reach into local pharmacies.

Kicking off the project will see Sanofi invite local pharmacies in Costa Rica to sign up to an advertising program by simply connecting their local Facebook Page to the Tiger Pistol Platform.

Once connected, the Sanofi marketing team can then run localized campaigns featuring the pharmacy and Sanofi's product offer, directing consumers to their nearest local pharmacy for purchase, according to a press release.  

Sanofi’s health and beauty products include OTC allergy drugs such as Nasacort and Allegra as well as pain therapy Icy Hot.

“It’s truly a remarkable time for our companies to partner. More and more brands are realizing the rewards of national-to-local social advertising, especially with Meta's growing focus and commitment to local business partners,” said Paul Elliott, CEO of Tiger Pistol, in the press release.

“Our partnership with Tiger Pistol uniquely facilitates a deeper connection to the independent pharmacies we rely on to sell our products and makes it easy to reach new customers at the community level through their local pharmacy,” added Camila Hadad, digital and media lead region COPAC at Sanofi, in the release.

Sanofi has, however, had several marketing issues with its consumer drugs. In the summer, Sanofi caught the ire of pharma giant and close rival Johnson & Johnson and the National Advertising Division (NAD), the overseer of self-regulation programs, all centered on its promotion of Zantac 360.

Their beef was with Sanofi’s "#1 Doctor Recommended" claims, which the NAD said must be removed as it could not adequately prove it was in fact No. 1.

There are also bigger issues with the original form of Zantac, with Sanofi and others mired in a major legal battle over revelations that the drug could produce a cancer-causing agent in certain circumstances.

In fact, in 2019, Sanofi pulled the original med, made up of ranitidine, from the market, and it's since been replaced with a different drug using famotidine and sold as Zantac 360°. But this year, there's been a surge in legal action against ranitidine marketers.

Back in July, a District Court in California told Sanofi U.S. that it will have to face a proposed class-action suit to argue that it did not deceptively market Icy Hot pain patches. This came after the French Big Pharma had hoped to have the case fully dismissed.

And, just last week, Sanofi was forced to remove the “non-drowsy” term from its marketing for allergy med Allevia in the U.K., after the MHRA regulator found it had been promoting the drug as such in a TV ad this year when Allevia can in fact cause drowsiness.