“Pfizer falls from ranks of top 10 US advertisers,” shouts the Boston Globe today. According to the article this is because the FDA has taken a “tougher stance” on advertising this year and because of a consumer backlash against Direct to Consumer (DTC) ads.
All of that is true. But as I’ve written before (see Pulling the plug on TV advertising for drugs), another reason is that DTC ads don’t work that well. Pfizer’s sales of Viagra held steady when the FDA temporarily ordered the ads off the air earlier this year. Pfizer is finding better uses for its marketing budget.August 31, 2005