Friday, July 10, 2009

Are DTC ads losing their effectiveness?

We live in an era where we're surrounded by direct-to-consumer (DTC) ads about pharmaceutical products. We know that marketing works, but how effective are these DTC ads? According to Rodale's annual Consumer Reaction to DTC Advertising of Prescription Drugs survey, DTC ads may be losing their effectiveness. The telephone survey of 1,501 US adults found that the number of people saying a DTC ad prompted them to seek information about a condition declined 5 points from last year to 29%. Also, 30% (down 7 points over last year) of consumers indicated that they sought information about a drug they were taking after seeing an ad. What's the point of looking at a drug ad if they're already taking the drug, right?

The bottom line is that only 28% said they talked to a healthcare provider about a drug they saw or heard advertised. That's down from last year's 40%. Among those who looked online for drug information, 27% had read something on a health-related blog post.

So among the various forms of DTC advertising, which method works most effectively? Most people probably encounter ads through several modalities: print, online, TV, radio, etc. We're all bombarded with ads. Are we simply getting better at tuning them out?

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