Pharma ad spend falls; TV takes bigger share

The numbers are here! Those of you who follow pharma marketing will hit the jackpot today, now that Advertising Age has released its 2009 list of the top 100 advertisers. This year, that list includes 14 Big Pharmas, and John Mack at Pharma Marketing Blog does a helpful analysis of the trends.

The top spenders aren't much of a surprise, though there has been a bit of musical chairs: J&J, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Eli Lilly take the first five slots, with Bristol and Lilly knocking Schering-Plough and Wyeth down to numbers seven and nine. Nor is the total spending; as you know, marketing expenses have shrunk a bit, with almost $7 billion going to measured media--about the same as last year--and another $5.7 billion or so to unmeasured media, which is down about $1 billion or so.

Pharma shifted some dollars toward TV and away from magazines, with 67.8 percent of all drug-ad spending going to TV in 2008, compared with 63 percent in 2007. The proportion spent on magazines--which includes trade pubs, not just consumer mags--dropped to 25.7 percent from 29 percent or so in 2007. Internet spending managed to shrink to an even smaller 2.4 percent from 3.1 percent last year.

Interestingly, as Mack points out, when you look at drugmakers' Internet marketing, a couple of companies are way outspending their peers online. Abbott Laboratories ploughed 13 percent of its measured-media dollars into online display ads, and AstraZeneca spent 7 percent the same way. Next in line with 3 percent or so comes Johnson & Johnson, with the rest of Big Pharma trailing down from there.

- read the post at Pharma Marketing
- see the list at AdAge