Total: $205.5 million
TV: $95 million
Magazine: $74.1 million
Newspaper: $35 million
Merck's ($MRK) ad budget fell by almost 25% in 2014, no doubt a result of the company's "slimmed down" strategy of fewer drugs concentrated in key areas, along with the shedding of its consumer business to Bayer last year for $14 billion. Smaller acquisitions--$9.5 billion for Cubist, a specialist in hospital acute care, and $3.8 billion for Idenix Pharmaceuticals for its hep C program--were undertaken to bolster the new strategy.
During the shifts, however, revenue dropped for Merck's pharma group, down 4% to $36 billion, with a down forecast for 2015 already in place. Merck's narrowed focus will be on vaccines, immunology, emerging markets, diabetes drugs and hospital acute care.
The promising cancer treatment Keytruda. with sales of $50 million within just a few months of its 2014 launch, has also garnered a small amount of print advertising so far. Up-and-coming sleep aid Belsomra recently launched in TV and print, with anime-like ads that describe why insomnia may be caused by neurotransmitters that are "too awake"--which is, no surprise, the problem Belsomra can fix. Ongoing ad support continues for Merck stable drugs including type 2 diabetes blockbuster Januvia; Dulera, its asthma inhaler that competes with AstraZeneca's ($AZN) Symbicort and GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) Advair; and human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil.
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