Total: $1.1 billion
TV: $751.9 million
Magazine: $320.3 million
Newspaper: $22.1 million
Radio: $1.4 million
Pfizer ($PFE) spent more than $1 billion on DTC advertising in 2014. Seriously. That's more than the gross domestic product of the Cayman Islands.
Other consumer marketing behemoths, such as Procter & Gamble, General Motors and AT&T, regularly spend more on advertising, but Pfizer's $1 billion worth of paid media is a first in the prescription drug industry. Don't forget that those other companies spend billions to advertise products to consumers who can pick off a shelf or drive off a car lot, if and when they want. Prescription drugmakers advertise to consumers, but the "sale" is dependent on an intermediary, a.k.a. a doctor.
Pfizer, however, is a bit of a marketing anomaly in the industry. It's the typical top spender and almost always by a wide margin. 2014's margin proved wider than most years, however, with Pfizer spending more than three times the amount of money on advertising than its next closest competitor, AbbVie ($ABBV). Not surprisingly, 6 of the top 10 most advertised drugs in 2014 are in Pfizer's portfolio. Also not surprising (although not included in these numbers) is that Pfizer also topped the list of money spent on interactions with doctors with $30 million in 2014.
Overall, sales were down at Pfizer with revenue of $49.6 billion in 2014, a decrease of 4% year over year. Pfizer's 2015 forecast is gloomy as well; it's already rolled out predictions that it will come up $3 billion short of last year's sales total. Celebrex and Lipitor's losses to generic competition will continue to weigh on the bottom line, with Viagra's patent loss in Europe and the loss looming in the U.S. expected to do the same.
What does that mean for advertising? No doubt Pfizer will continue promoting this year's top 6, but with advertising drop-offs due to patent issues already beginning--Celebrex TV ads last aired in late 2014, according to iSpot.tv--and no consumer blockbuster in sight, another $1 billion lineup for 2015 seems unlikely.
Pfizer's Lyrica team matches the spokesman to the message
DTC ad viewers really do ask their doctors about new meds, survey finds
Pharma's ad spend vaults to $4.5B, with big spender Pfizer leading the way
Some ad types are calling it: 'Pharmageddon' is over. DTC is back
Pfizer DTC message: Hey guys, women say it's cool to take Viagra