Merck - Top 13 Advertising Budgets

Company: Merck merck.jpg
2007 Ad Spending: $751.8 million
2006 Ad Spending: $1.02 billion


  • Magazines: $125.4 million
  • Newspaper: $13.6 million
  • Outdoor: N/A
  • TV: $212.2 million
  • Radio: $300,000
  • Internet: $24.5 million

Where Merck is spending money: The company slashed its ad spending by about $250 million in 2007. But it still managed to increase media support for the cholesterol drug Zetia to $105.9 million from $93.64 million, a 13 percent hike. The company's biggest ad push was for Gardasil--its vaccine for human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer and genital warts. Merck allocated $101.4 million to the shot, up 137 percent from the previous year's $42,740.

That's one reason Gardasil led a big increase in Merck's vaccine division's revenue. The HPV vaccine brought in $1.5 billion worldwide, up from $234.8 million in 2006, when the shot was first approved in the U.S.

Global sales of Zetia grew by 25 percent to $2.4 billion. But Merck doesn't get all that revenue; the drug is part of a joint venture with Schering-Plough, along with a sister product, Vytorin, that combines Zetia with the Merck statin Zocor. The entire Merck/Schering-Plough joint venture added $1.83 billion to Merck's revenues, according to financial statements.

Where Merck isn't spending money: Merck almost got out of the image-advertising business, slashing its corporate brand budget by 78 percent, from $172 million to $38.6 million. And the company cut back its spending on the allergy and asthma med Singulair by 27.5 percent, to $82 million. Osteoporosis treatment Fosamax also saw the knife, with a 49 percent cut to $32.7 million. Singular still managed $4.3 billion in global sales, up from $3.6 billion the previous year. Fosamax, on the other hand, saw its sales drop slightly to $3.05 billion.

Merck - Top 13 Advertising Budgets