Pfizer puts Chantix back on TV

Can Chantix make a comeback? That's what Forbes asks today, as Pfizer prepares to relaunch its TV advertising for the stop cessation med. Nine months after putting its promo campaign on hold because of reports of suicidal thoughts and activity among Chantix patients, the drugmaker will start running some television spots. The 90 second ads will use the familiar tortoise vs. hare trope. The idea being that Chantix can help people stop smoking with a slow-and-steady approach, which is more likely to be successful in the long run.

The old Chantix campaign was similar, but 30 seconds shorter. Observers said that the extra time may be designed to air the new safety concerns.

Will it work? Well, Chantix had been a success story for Pfizer, accounting to $883 million in sales in 2007. And this at a time when the drugmaker is casting about for revenue streams to make up for the coming shortfall from Lipitor going generic. But the company has said that the stop-smoking market is prone to volatility, with sales spiking and then tanking. We'll see if Chantix can catch the market on the way up.

- see the Forbes analysis