Pharma on the Web: pressures and failures
An excellent article: pressure of Big Pharmas on FaceBook and globally, a failure of ads on the web.
The pharmaceutical industry is new to advertising (…) but it’s even farther behind when it comes to the Web. Despite people turning online in droves to find medical information, pharma marketers are hamstrung by federal regulations, and frustration is setting in. (…)
These sites claim that after convening on these issues in 2009, the FDA has been disturbingly silent on this issue, which has caused brands to resist embracing the medium. (…)
“Pharma is online, but not to the extent it could be. The Internet is really a failure for pharma ads.” (…)
But an even more pressing issue — … — is social media. According to the current federal standards, drug brands are obligated to respond to each and every comment a user makes about one of its products, whether within a community forum, along side an add on or a social site. And with so many content sites now infused with social functionality, the problem has become exacerbated, say industry veterans.
As a result, (…) some brands like Pfizer chose to disable comments on its Facebook page.
This issue is of such importance that in the past two months executives from both Pfizer and Merck met with Facebook to explore whether those brands might be able to monitor comments before they are posted on the site — something Facebook officials are not crazy about, per sources.
(…) The FDA had promised some sort of revised official guidelines on advertising in social media for pharma brands by Q1 of this year (…). But (it) still waiting. (…)
Until those guidances are indeed issued, the industry has to do some guessing, … , which doesn’t exactly encourage big spending. (…)
But the biggest drawback to pharma advertising is the social factor, which increasingly pops its head up everywhere, requiring brands to watch everything a user utters about their drug. (…)
Some pharma brands just simply need to become more comfortable with risk (…)
2011 is really a make or break year for pharma on the Web. Either sit out or take steps…
Shields, Mike. Pharma’s stuck in Web’s waiting room. DIGIDAY, Online: Posted on 27th of June, 2011.
To confirm that FaceBook will not play the Big Pharma’s game:
“Facebook, the ubiquitous social media platform, recently announced that, as of August 15, 2011, pharmaceutical companies will be unable to disable the comment feature on their pages, and all pre-existing pages for pharmaceutical brand companies will be required to allow comments on their pages after August 15”