Simple icons, people and/or feelings are being used to persuade consumers to buy products. Is it fair that pharmaceutical advertising companies use tactics to grab the consumers’ attention. When does the consumer’s well-being begin to play a factor in advertising, or does the all might dollar weigh heavier than one’s health?
From former football coach and player Mike Ditka, to Barry Williams, former child star from the Brady Bunch, have been used to sell products the same way that Nike used Michael Jordan to sell sneakers in the later 80’s and early 90″s. Nike gave consumers the impression that if they wore the “Air Jordans” that they would be that better basketball player and the consumer believed this. Pharmaceutical companies have made consumers believe that big bad Mike Ditka has a little erectile problem, but with the “New Levitra” Mike Ditka has become the best once again.
For every dollar that pharmaceutical companies spend they have made back four dollars and twenty cents back. Companies like Krell Advertising were named the largest heath care advertising company and also ranked with in the top fifty in total revenue in 2001. When interviewed Founder, President, and Executive Director Robert Krell said “the company has provided medical knowledge with strategic market savvy and cutting edge creative ideas to put this company where it is today. Ambian Sleep Aid spent 58.4 million dollars on advertising in the U.S. in 2002 and in 2003 spent 1.5 Billion dollars; this was a twenty-five percent increase from the prior year. Ambian Sleep Aid will have a patent on this drug until 2006. Ni Quitin CQ pushed a 1.6 million dollar television campaign in New York alone, showing several tricky situations while pushing the twenty-four a day protection from smoking and they also informed the consumer how to obtain a free sample at their local drug store. Glaxosmith Kline PLC, the world’s 2nd largest drug company had claims brought against them by senior citizens claiming that they artificially inflated the price of Medicare-covered drugs at the expense of consumers and health plans. Forcing the senior citizens to buy the higher priced brand name drug Paxil.
These companies have proven that they will go to great lengths to make money with no repercussions of how the consumer is affected by what they are selling.