Friday, December 08, 2006

VERY WELL DONE: The interactive pediatrician

The interactive pediatrician


November 30, 2006

From Adverblog: "From Sweden, an unusual (and innovative) interactive tool to understand if your kid, who is sick at home with a cold, needs to see a doctor. Of course, as Martin explained me, F&B (together with B-Reel) developed the tool for Apoteket (Swedish Pharmacy) in collaboration with doctors. The idea is to help parents decide if they need to take their kid to a pediatrician but also to offer personalized advice, including a list of relevant products."
buzz this

Clever TV Spot

Beyondthe news II
Video sent by FRANCE_24
A new animated short film brought to you by the new 24/7 International News Channel
buzz this

Subservient Sam?

Samsung has launched a campaign to promote it's new mini-computer called the Q1.  Sam the dog is suppose to be your guide on their new campaign micro-site.  Yes, it's cute.  Yes, it's different.  But it's no subservient chicken.  And, it's really not that helpful at all.  Would I send this to my dad to help him learn more about the Q1?  Never.
buzz this

TNS: Online Display Ad Spend Up $1 Billion

TNS: Online Display Ad Spend Up $1 Billion


The rate of U.S. ad spending seems to be slowing down, and at fault may be internet advertising - which is, seemingly incongruously, the fastest-growing medium.

U.S. advertisers spent $7.2 billion on online advertising in the first three quarters of 2006 - more than a billion dollars more than the $6.1 billion spent in the same period in 2005, according to estimates released Tuesday by ad tracking firm TNS Media Intelligence, MediaPost reports. Those numbers don't include online search advertising.

TNS MI estimates that online display ad budgets are growing at an 18 percent rate, but search is growing at more than 30 percent a year according to TNS MI President-CEO Steven Fredericks. That growth, however, is being fueled by midsize and smaller advertisers.

The top 50 advertisers remain focused on traditional media, and although they are upping their online ad budgets… those online dollars are going further than their traditional media dollars - and the savings are being invested in traditional media, Fredericks said.

buzz this

Darfur Genocide Photo Exhibit in Second Life

Darfur Genocide Photo Exhibit in Second Life


Actress and activist Mia Farrow, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, will on Friday discuss and answer questions about the worsening situation in Darfur and neighboring Chad at a virtual event in Second Life.

The Darfur program, to be held Friday, Dec. 8, 12 Noon to 1 p.m. (Eastern Time), will feature a virtual replica of the "Our Walls Bear Witness - Darfur: Who Will Survive Today?" - a photography exhibit of Darfur images that were projected onto the exterior of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. 

The live appearance by Farrow in Second Life and the exhibit are being held at Lichtenstein Creative Media's The Infinite Mind virtual broadcast center in Second Life, and will be open to the public in Second Life until Dec. 12.

Farrow just returned from Chad, following three earlier trips to Darfur. "We're seeing atrocities of an indescribable kind [with people] clustered under trees, dazed and terrified," she told the Associated Press.

John Heffernan, Acting Director of the Committee on Conscience of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the sponsor of the program, will also make a presentation at the online world event. The Committee works to raise public awareness and alert the national conscience to contemporary genocide and related crimes against humanity

buzz this

Virgin/EMI to Hold Virtual Concert in

Virgin/EMI to Hold Virtual Concert in


Virgin/EMI is promoting a concert this weekend for one of its young recording artists, pop/R&B singer Stacie Orrico, but don't look for it in a stadium or theater - it will be presented on the virtual world of, described as an edu-tainment virtual world for the tween-age generation, is creating the concert for Orrico, whose target audience is 8-15-year-old kids, reports ClickZ. The event will include 45 minutes of songs performed by an Orrico avatar and will also make it possible for attendees to purchase Orrico's songs or ringtones, in addition to virtual souvenir sales and an eBay-based charity auction for the virtual clothing that Orrico's avatar will wear during the event.

"We're excited about it. We think it's a perfect target to hit Stacie's primary demographic, which are teens," Aaron Simon, director of marketing for Virgin Records, is quoted as saying. "It's the very first virtual program that we have done with any of our artists. We would definitely want to continue it. It's something that is so important when you're a teen artist to really get in front of your buyers. In front of your fans."

Whyville has just under two million "tween citizens" and is preparing for as many as 6,000 of them to attend the concert, said Jay Goss, COO of Numedeon, Whyville’s parent company. The concert is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m. Pacific time.

buzz this

UN survey: Only 3 out of 100 Web sites accessible to disabled

UN survey: Only 3 out of 100 Web sites accessible to disabled
Most of the world's Web sites aren't accessible to people with disabilities, according to a global, United Nations-commissioned study. The study reviewed 100 Web sites from 20 countries and found that only three met minimum accessibility standards for disabled people, reports The review looked at whether the sites had alternatives for audio and visual content, contrasting colors, graphics, language, and other elements that may make the sites easier to use. For example, 78% of sites used color combinations with poor contrast, which makes it hard for color blind people to read the content. Ninety-eight percent of sites didn't follow standards for the programming code needed for site accessibility and 97% used "fixed measurements," which prevent people from changing text or page size. Click the supporting link below to read more of the survey results.
Web Sites Fail To Reach People With Disabilities, UN-Backed Survey Shows via NewsEdge Corporation :

Only three of 100 Web sites tested in what researchers call the first global Web site accessibility survey met minimum accessibility standards for disabled people.

Nomensa released the results of the United Nations commissioned study this week to coincide with the International Day of Persons With Disabilities. The British agency provides assistance with Web site design, as well as consultation and training on accessibility.

The agency used manual and automated systems to test the accessibility of leading Web sites in five sectors in 20 countries. It examined Web sites of heads of states, airlines, banks, newspapers, and retailers.

Central government, retailers, and banks offered the best accessibility around the world, Simon Norris, managing director of Nomensa said in a statement. The German Chancellor, the Spanish government, and the British Prime Minister's Web sites were the only three to achieve minimum standards.

"While only three Web sites made it onto the first rung of the accessibility ladder, many Web sites were in grasping distance of achieving minimum levels of accessibility," Norris said.

Nomensa used World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines to measure accessibility. The W3C recommends alternatives for audio and visual content, contrasting colors, as well as graphics, elements, and language that people using special software, devices, or techniques to overcome impairments can easily interpret and convert.

Nomensa said the tests revealed systemic weaknesses that make it difficult or impossible for businesses and governments to reach 600 million people with disabilities.

"The results from the survey are consistent and identify many common themes that cross borders and cultures, many of which must be addressed," Leonie Watson, Nomensa's accessibility chief, said.

Ninety-eight percent of the Web sites didn't follow standards for programming code needed for strong foundations for accessibility, according to the survey. Ninety-seven percent used fixed measurements, which prevent people from changing text size or page size to meet their needs, the survey found. Ninety-three percent of the Web sites tested didn't provide adequate text descriptions of graphical content to help visually impaired people, according to Nomensa.

The survey revealed that 89% of the Web sites failed to convey document structure with headings that allow easier navigation for visually impaired people. Eighty-seven percent released pop-ups without warning the user, which disorients people who use screen magnification software, Nomensa said.

Seventy-eight percent used color combinations with poor contrast, which makes it difficult for people with color blindness to read information, according to the survey. Seventy-three percent relied on JavaScript for important functions, making it impossible for about 10% of Internet users to access key information.

The 20 countries audited were Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

<< -- 12/07/06>>

buzz this

IT changes on the way for FDA's Rx safety reporting system

IT changes on the way for FDA's Rx safety reporting system

Data mining and improving the FDA's Web portal so that anyone can report adverse drug events are some of the changes that are coming for the FDA's drug safety system. The FDA will also produce regular reports about the adverse events being reported. The information will be available to the public. Scott Gottlieb, the FDA's deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs, detailed the changes in a speech last month, reports Government Health IT. There will also be EMR-compatible software for healthcare practitioners to download and use to report drug events. According to Government Health IT, there is no set timetable for implementing the changes. However, Gottlieb said over the summer that the FDA plans to have in place within two years a single electronic reporting system for adverse drug and device events.

buzz this

Word-of-mouth influencers more likely to visit brand Web sites

Word-of-mouth influencers more likely to visit brand Web sites
A new survey has identified some of the key habits of "social persuaders and influencers" (SPIs)--people who are the most influential when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing. According to the researchers, the study shows that these consumers are not only influential, but very reachable by marketers. SPIs are 65% more likely to visit manufacturer or brand Web sites than the average consumer and are 88% more likely to share information at a product or social event than average consumers. Also, the study revealed that SPIs generally follow a four-step word-of-mouth marketing process: awareness, research, personal experiences, and recommendation. The research is from online product sampling firm StartSampling and interactive marketing firm McElroy.
New Research Findings Unearth Unique Path to Recommendation for Word of Mouth Marketing

Business Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :

Engagement Rank as Top Touch Points for Enhancing Recommendation Likelihood Business Editors/Marketing Writers CHICAGO & MARINA DEL REY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 6, 2006--Findings from the first-ever SPI Report, a new quarterly research offering from StartSampling Inc. and McElroy Inc., have uncovered a unique path to recommendation and distinct marketing preferences among the population's most influential consumers. SPIs (or "Social Persuaders and Influencers") appear to follow a four-step Word of Mouth process: awareness, research, personal experience and recommendation. And, unlike average consumers, SPIs say that product reviews, brand and shopping Web sites, and in-store trial and dialog are among the marketing tactics most likely to influence their recommendations.

"While there is a lot of good research out there on Word of Mouth marketing, we think the SPI Report is the first research offering to really 'peel back the onion' for marketers," said Larry Burns, president and chief executive officer of StartSampling. "Everyone knows that influential consumers are extremely important to WOM marketing, but what the SPI Report shows is that they are also extremely reachable."

Developed by marketers for marketers to deliver actionable insights to the practice of Word of Mouth marketing, the SPI Report taps into a panel of more than 2,000 qualified Social Persuaders and Influencers to unearth and analyze the characteristics, attitudes, behaviors and media consumption habits of this influential group. Offered on a quarterly and annual review basis, each SPI Report also includes insight and analysis from leading, experienced research and marketing professionals at StartSampling and McElroy.

Detailed findings from the January 2007 SPI Report indicate that, in the awareness phase, SPIs are:

-- 61 percent more likely than total respondents surveyed to learn about products or services through online and offline product reviews

-- More than 40 percent more likely to become aware through shopping Web sites and online portals

In the research phase, SPIs are:

-- 76 percent more likely to seek out information from store employees

-- 65 percent more likely to read offline reviews, and

-- 65 percent more likely to visit manufacturer or brand Web sites

In the experience phase, SPIs are:

-- 49 percent more likely to participate in an in-store training or class

-- 36 percent more likely to encounter a product at an event they are attending

-- 30 percent more likely to encounter a product in an in-store demo

In the recommendation phase, SPIs are:

-- 88 percent more likely to share information at a meeting or social event

-- 81 percent more likely to email information to others

-- 76 percent more likely to call others with information

And, among those under the age of 35, SPIs are 50 percent more likely than total respondents surveyed to use blogs, text messaging and instant messaging to communicate about products and services.

"Most companies today say they want to do Word of Mouth marketing programs, but they are unsure about how to design targeted and effective campaigns," said Dani Mariano, vice president of business insights for McElroy. "With the SPI Report, our goal is to help marketers build media plans based on sources that SPIs consider relevant, design communications plans to engage SPIs and foster WOM, and ensure that advertising and PR breaks through the clutter to resonate with this unique group of consumers."

SPIs are individuals at the top of the Word of Mouth pyramid; they are the 10 percent of the population who influence the social choices of the remaining 90 percent. SPIs have universal characteristics and behavioral traits that are identified in three intersecting dimensions: size of social network, persuasive power and propensity to disseminate product or service information. The SPI profile does not compete or conflict with other existing definitions of influential consumers, but rather it builds a high-level construct that effectively captures the coveted "10 percent" regardless of demographics or category-specific viral activity.

SPIs are different from total respondents in several ways:

-- SPIs are four times more likely to belong to five or more organizations

-- SPIs are four times more likely to be considered "experts" by others

-- SPIs are twice as likely to recommend a product they like, and when they do, they are four times more likely to tell 11 or more people

The SPI Report is the first offering from Innovision, a new consumer and business insights division of McElroy and StartSampling. Innovision brings together experts in CRM, product promotion, marketing and research to deliver innovative research products that penetrate the inner workings of consumer behavior and offer actionable insights that can be readily applied.

The SPI Report will be available on January 15, 2007 for a price of $9,500. Custom research using the SPI Report consumer panel will also be available beginning in January of 2007. For more information, or to purchase the SPI Report, please visit

About StartSampling Inc.

A pioneer in online product sampling, StartSampling is a digital marketing services company that facilitates direct online and off-line links between brand owners and interested, engaged consumers to achieve its mission of "Helping people connect with brands ... to turn trying into buying." With major clients from consumer packaged goods as well as other industries, StartSampling provides services that span the entire promotions process - from website design and development, physical fulfillment, data handling and cleansing/storage-related activities to real-time online reporting and information tools that illustrate consumer reaction to clients' brand marketing efforts. The company also offers valuable, proprietary research based on its unique membership panel of more than 2.5 million engaged consumers. StartSampling was founded in 1998 and is based in Carol Stream, Ill. For more information, please visit

About McElroy Inc.

With expertise spanning creative, marketing, technology and business analytics, McElroy is a full-service interactive marketing agency that delivers effective, measurable multi-media campaigns born from expert data analysis and actionable consumer insights.

McElroy's core offerings include interactive, database and relationship marketing services that form a centralized online control point for clients' integrated marketing campaigns. An award-winning, independently-owned agency that has served clients including Nestle, Kraft, Heinz, Sara-Lee, Creative Artists Agency, Alterna Hair Care, 21st Century Insurance and numerous other well-known brands, McElroy is one of Los Angeles' longest running ad firms and has been a pioneer of numerous marketing innovations over its more than 50-year history. For more information, visit

buzz this

Spending online impacts how many people search for your Rx

Spending online impacts how many people search for your Rx
Combining search and display ads delivers better results than either tactic can deliver alone, according to a new study from Yahoo! and comScore Networks. The research examined real advertising campaigns from Fortune 100 companies and found that offline purchases of advertised products increased 89% among consumers who were exposed to both search and display ads compared to those with similar behavior who were not exposed to these ads. "The findings confirmed what we've always thought to be true--that a combination of search and display ads is more effective--and this study gives us the data to support that theory," Jack Barrette, Yahoo!'s chief development officer for pharmaceutical, tells ePharm5. In addition, the study found that exposure to a display advertisement increased related trademark searches, such as the brand or company names, by an average of 26% during the campaign flight. Click the supporting link below to read more about the study.
Yahoo! Helps Close the Loop Between Search and Display Advertising

Business Wire via NewsEdge Corporation :

Display Ad Campaigns Result in Deeper Engagement, Increased Sales Business Editors SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 4, 2006--Yahoo! Inc., a leading global Internet company, today announced the results of a new Web-wide study, conducted by comScore Networks, which measures the impact of display and search advertising campaigns. The study, entitled "Close the Loop: Understanding Search and Display Synergy," found that when combined, search and display advertising deliver profoundly better results than when used independently. The study showed a significant lift in onsite engagement and an increase in online and offline purchasing by consumers who are exposed to integrated campaigns that employ both types of online advertising.

The research was based on results from actual advertising campaigns from Fortune 100 companies in several vertical categories. The overall results showed that when viewed together, campaigns that take advantage of both search and display advertising are far more engaging and effective than those viewed individually. Online users who were exposed to both the search and display advertising campaigns increased their share of page views relative to competitive sites by 68 percent, and time spent by 66 percent. More importantly, among those exposed to both the search and display ads, purchases of the advertiser's products and services increased by 244 percent online and 89 percent offline compared to online users with similar behavior who were not exposed to these ads.

"Our clients have asked us to help them understand the value of running coordinated search and display campaigns, and until now, much of the data in the marketplace has been anecdotal," said, Beth Taylor, vice president of media for Digitas. "Compelling research like this will help agencies and marketers' alike better leverage the combined strengths of search and display advertising to improve customer engagement."

The study also found that exposure to a display advertisement increased related trademark term searches (brand, company or product names) by an average of 26 percent during the campaign flight. This shows that interest generated from display advertising carries over to consumer search behavior, making it crucial that marketers utilize both to take full advantage of their online brand presence.

"This research clearly shows that search and display advertising, which are each very effective on their own, work more effectively in tandem," said Greg Coleman, executive vice president of sales for Yahoo!. "Advertisers who approach their marketing holistically drive greater engagement, generate more purchases both online and offline and steal share from their direct competitors."

About the Study

Through its representative panel of more than one million consumers in the U.S., comScore identified consumers who were exposed to search and display ads for a given advertiser across the entire Internet, and compared their online behaviors to control groups of online users. With the exception of the exposure to the advertising, these groups were behaviorally and demographically identical. By examining the lifts in behavior between the control and exposed groups, comScore isolated and analyzed the effectiveness of the advertising in driving specific activities, including Web site visitation, engagement and online and offline purchase behavior.

About Yahoo!

Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo! seeks to provide online products and services essential to users' lives, and offers a full range of tools and marketing solutions for businesses to connect with Internet users around the world. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

About comScore Networks

comScore Networks is a global leader in measuring the digital age. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. comScore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its proprietary technology, comScore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. comScore consultants apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. comScore services are used by global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune Interactive, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestle, MBNA, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, Merck and Expedia. For more information, please visit

buzz this

Spending online impacts how many people search for your Rx

Spending online impacts how many people search for your Rx
The number of people searching online for information about a certain condition is a function of the amount of money the marketer spends online, according to Carolina Petrini, vice president of comScore Pharmaceutical Solutions. For example, although more of the general population has diabetes, there are more people looking online for information about bipolar disorder. "The makers of these drugs have embraced the online channel," Petrini tells ePharm5. Thirty-three million consumers visited a prescription medication Web site in the third quarter of 2006, a 13% increase from the same quarter the year before, according to the comScore Pharmaceutical Solutions study. Depression was the most-searched-for condition, with 2.9 million unique visitors, followed by bipolar disorder (1.8 million unique visitors) and insomnia (1.7 million unique visitors). Of those consumers, 66% researched for themselves, 10% researched for a spouse, and 6% for a child.
Thirty-Three Million Consumers Researched Prescription Medication Using the Internet in Q3, 2006, Seeking Information on Drug Health and Safety

December 6, 2006, 11:57 AM

RESTON, Va., Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- comScore Pharmaceutical Solutions today released an analysis of consumers' use of the Internet as a resource for researching prescription medication information. According to the study, 33 million Internet users visited a prescription medication site in Q3 2006, an increase of 13 percent over Q3 2005.

Two-thirds (66 percent) of visitors to prescription medication sites reported conducting research for themselves, with 10 percent conducting research for a spouse and 6 percent for a child. Consumers sought online information most frequently for specific health conditions, including depression (2.9 million unique visitors), bipolar disorder (1.8 million unique visitors), and insomnia (1.7 million unique visitors).

"Consumers are increasingly looking to the Internet to become more knowledgeable about medications that have been prescribed by their doctors, or that seem relevant for their symptoms," said Carolina Petrini, vice president of comScore Pharmaceutical Solutions. "As pharmaceutical companies continue to evolve their online media strategies, they must become mindful of how their audience researches drug and health information, as well as the type of content they seek, in order to better meet the needs of their consumers."

Search and Online Marketing Programs Drive Traffic

Online marketing has become an important driver of traffic to prescription medication sites, with 31 percent of visitors first becoming aware of the site or product through an online marketing program. One-fifth (20 percent) of all researchers reported that they first became aware of a product via an online search, with individuals age 35-54 accounting for 23 percent of those visitors. Other online marketing programs, such as banner ads, were responsible for driving 10 percent of all traffic.

Drug-Related Information Draws the Most Attention

Two-thirds (66 percent) of researchers reported looking for information on drug side effects, and 53 percent looked for drug safety information. Condition-focused information was sought by 53 percent of visitors, while patient information and support programs were sought by nearly one-third of all visitors (29 percent).

Information Sought by Consumers Researching Prescription Medications
Ranked by Percentage of All Respondents
Source: comScore Networks Prescription Medication Study

% of Researchers
Drug side effect information 66%
General information about the condition 53%
Drug safety information 52%
Drug prescribing information 33%
Drug dosage information 31%
Patient information and support programs 29%
Information to compare medications 29%
Information about the company that manufactures the drug 18%

In general, prescription medication sites enjoy a high level of satisfaction among their visitors, who indicated that sites were both credible and easy to use. Nearly three-quarters of researchers reportedly found the information on prescription medication sites to be credible (73 percent), easy to understand (71 percent), and easily found (70 percent).

Researcher Satisfaction with Web Site
Percentage of All Respondents (Top 2 Box)
Source: comScore Networks Prescription Medication Information Study

% of Researchers
Information was credible 73%
Information was easy to understand 71%
Could easily find what I was looking for 70%
Made me more knowledgeable about the drug 69%
Useful and relevant 68%
Satisfied with quality of information 66%
Made me more knowledgeable about the condition 61%

As another indication of satisfaction, more than half (56 percent) of researchers indicated a high likelihood of returning to the site, and 57 percent reported they would recommend the site to others.

Depression Remains the Leading Condition Researched Online

An analysis of overall traffic to Web sites devoted to prescription medications revealed the conditions with high levels of visitation. Depression was the top-ranked therapeutic area with 2.9 million unique visitors. Bipolar disorder and insomnia ranked second and third with 1.8 million and 1.7 million unique visitors, respectively.

Top Treatment Categories Researched
Ranked by Total Unique Visitors (000)
Q3 2005 vs. Q3 2006
Source: comScore Networks Weight Loss Study

Q3 2005 Q3 2006
(000) (000)
Depression 2,950 2,893
Bipolar 1,364 1,782
Insomnia 1,414 1,745
Cholesterol 1,825 1,718
Acid Reflux/GERD 2,493 1,402
Contraception 702 1,390
ADHD 900 1,367
Hypertension 646 1,079
Breast Cancer 523 881
Allergies 1,155 738
Migraine 563 723
Diabetes 838 684
Asthma 828 616

"Key players in depression, bipolar and insomnia have invested heavily in the online channel, though banner and search campaigns. Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly realizing the impact of online marketing on patients and prospects, and are re-allocating their marketing funds accordingly," added Ms. Petrini.

Pharmaceutical/ health care professionals and members of the media may request a copy of the full report at:

About This Study

For the purposes of this report, comScore Pharmaceutical Solutions conducted a survey among members of comScore's panel of more than two million online consumers who have given comScore permission to track their complete behavior on the Internet.

Methodology Details
Population: U.S. Internet users who visited at least one pharmaceutical
Web site in the last 3 months
Time Period: October 2006
Survey Mode: E-mail invitations sent to comScore panelists
Respondents: 411 completes

About comScore Pharmaceutical Solutions

comScore Pharmaceutical Solutions deliver the in-depth information needed to understand the impact that brand, condition-specific, and health portal Web sites have on consumers' brand awareness, conversion, and patient compliance. comScore delivers actionable insight to help refine consumer profiles, identify key alliances, optimize interactive marketing initiatives, benchmark against the competition and truly measure the ROI of Web site and online marketing programs.

About comScore Networks

comScore Networks is a global leader in measuring the digital age. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. comScore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its proprietary technology, comScore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. comScore consultants apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. comScore services are used by global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune Interactive, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestle, MBNA, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, Merck and Expedia. For more information, please visit .

buzz this

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Keyword Prices Sharply Up

Keyword Prices Sharply Up

DECEMBER 7, 2006

Source: eMarketer (
Online advertising is up, and so is the cost of keywords. According to
Fathom Online, in the second quarter of 2006 the average keyword price was $1.27, down from $1.39 in the first quarter of the year.

That, however, did not jibe with an InsightExpress survey of media executives. Comparing the second quarter of 2006 to the first quarter, 44% of them felt they were paying more for keywords.
Now things seem to be coming back in line.

In the third quarter of 2006, Fathom found that the average keyword price paid by online advertisers had increased 16.5% percent to $1.48.

"Keyword demand is up as organizations have increased their online advertising budgets and expanded their search marketing capabilities," said Dean DeBiase, CEO of Fathom. "Both online advertising and search marketing are becoming strategic components of the overall marketing mix because of their growing effectiveness."

In November, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) estimated that Internet advertising revenues in the third quarter of 2006 rose to a record $4.2 billion.

Obviously, since many organizations are managing as many as 5,000 keywords, an average of 9 cents more a word adds up.

buzz this

Studies show that online ad budgets continue to surge

Studies show that online ad budgets continue to surge
Two new studies show that online advertising is growing at a faster clip than any other ad-supported media. However, according to TNS Media Intelligence, the growth is largely fueled by small to mid-sized companies, with the top 50 companies still focusing primarily on traditional media, reports MediaPost. However, even without the biggest marketers, TNS says that online display ad spending reached $7.2 billion through the first nine months of 2006, up $1 billion from the same period the year before. ZenithOptimedia predicts that online ad budgets will grow 28.2% in 2007, a rate that is seven times that of the overall ad market. The report also predicts that online ad spending will account for nearly 9% of global ad spending by 2009.
buzz this

ValueClick launches video ad platform for its 13,000 sites

ValueClick launches video ad platform for its 13,000 sites
A new video ad serving platform from ValueClick allows for in-stream video ads on the more than 13,000 sites in its network. The system will run ads before and after videos and within banners, reports MediaPost. ValueClick is also experimenting with formats, such as pre- and post-roll and ad placements displayed around the video player, according to AdWeek. Even as online video ads become more common around the Web, companies are still trying to figure out the best format. A study last month from video and audio search engine PodZinger showed that viewers are willing to watch 10- to 15-second ads as part of watching video content and prefer shorter ads to the typical 30-second spot.  Also, although more than 90% of online video ads are pre-roll, industry experts say this is not the ad model of the future.
buzz this

AZ-funded study: Need for better cancer clinical trials education

AZ-funded study: Need for better cancer clinical trials education

According to an AstraZeneca-sponsored study, more than 80% of cancer patients were unaware of available and appropriate clinical trials when they were exploring treatment options. However, most oncologists believe that they discuss clinical trial participation with eligible patients. According to the researchers, more work needs to be done to make sure that cancer patients receive information about clinical trials. This is especially true because the survey also found that 69% of cancer patients would be very or somewhat interested in participating in a clinical trial if they still needed treatment and a new drug was being developed. The rate of interest was higher for lung cancer patients at 77%. In response to the lack of education and the stated willingness to participate, the Lung Cancer Alliance, which helped develop the survey, offers a toll free number to its Clinical Trials Matching Service.

New Survey Shows Half of Cancer Patients Are Not Aware of Clinical Trials at the Time of Their Treatment Decision

PR Newswire via NewsEdge Corporation :

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Lung Cancer Alliance, a nationally-recognized leader in providing patient support and advocacy solely for those living with or at risk for lung cancer, today announced disconcerting findings from a new national survey of 600 patients and oncologists that show a surprising and significant lack of awareness among cancer patients about clinical trials available to them. Concerns, fears and misperceptions about what to expect as a clinical trial participant, such as the quality of care a patient receives and the chances for treatment benefit, further deter the few who are informed from becoming involved themselves.

The Clinical Trial Awareness, Attitudes and Participation among Cancer Patients and Oncologists study sought to gain further insight into the predominant barriers to participation in clinical trials by cancer patients. The survey specifically examined attitudes and opinions of lung cancer patients as well as those with other types of cancer. It also surveyed attitudes and awareness among oncologists who provide treatment. Though most oncologists believe that they discuss clinical trial participation options with eligible patients, the study revealed that more than 80 percent of cancer patients say they were unaware of available and appropriate clinical trials at the time they were exploring treatment options.

Despite this seeming communication disconnect between oncologists and cancer patients, both oncologists and patients agree on the reasons why many patients do not choose to enroll in clinical trials, including:

* Fear of receiving a placebo or sugar pill (30% patients, 67% physicians)
* Fear of side effects (40% patients, 61% physicians)
* Inconvenience of the trial location (6% patients, 42% physicians)
* Costs associated with participation/insurance coverage issues (2% patients, 38% physicians)

"Clinical trials represent the single, most important step in the process of bringing new, improved cancer therapies to patients and the fact that many patients do not enroll in them because they do not feel they have enough information or even worse, don't know about them, is very troubling," said Roy S. Herbst, MD, PhD, Chief of the Section of Thoracic Medical Oncology, Professor of Medicine, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who developed this survey with Lung Cancer Alliance. "Thousands of cancer patients are being helped each day by new therapies under investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This survey shows us that there is more work to be done to ensure information gets into the hands of cancer patients so they are able to make informed decisions about whether or not clinical trials are right for them."

While patients expressed numerous concerns and hesitations about participating in clinical studies, they did report that they would be interested if they had all the appropriate information regarding trials. In fact, seven out of ten cancer patients (69 percent) would be very or somewhat interested in participating in a clinical trial if they still required treatment and a new drug was being developed. Lung cancer patients, in particular, expressed more interest than other cancer patients (77 percent vs. 62 percent).

Additional advantages of joining a clinical trial cited by patients include helping with research to find a cure (30 percent) and exposure to the latest or cutting-edge treatment not yet on the market (26 percent). In terms of obtaining information about these studies, a vast majority of cancer patients (79 percent) learned about a trial from their physician. One out of four patients (26 percent) read about a trial online.

Despite being the primary source of clinical trial information for patients, oncologists expressed concern about the lack of one, central resource they can turn to for information about clinical trials taking place in their geographical area. While 50 percent of oncologists reported they are aware of all or most clinical trials for new cancer drugs, the findings also show that keeping current on these trials can be a time-consuming challenge and improved resources could further engage the treating oncologist community as well.

Another key consideration for patients and oncologists when evaluating the benefits of clinical trial participation is the efficacy and the side effect profile of current, FDA-approved treatments available for the disease. Experimental therapies can be synonymous with hope for patients with especially hard-to-treat cancers, such as lung cancer. This may explain why lung cancer patients are willing to travel further than other cancer patients to receive their treatment in a clinical trial -- 41 percent of lung cancer patients travel 20 miles or more to receive treatment compared to 31 percent of other cancer patients. According to the National Cancer Institute, 70 percent of lung cancer patients receive late-stage diagnoses, further limiting their treatment options by ruling out therapies that are most effective in the earlier stages of the disease.

"Throughout the cancer-treatment and support communities, we realized that barriers such as education, access and changes in Medicare were preventing patients from making informed decisions about clinical trial enrollment," said Laurie Fenton, President of Lung Cancer Alliance. "This dilemma can only be solved by providing cancer patients with consumer-friendly, unbiased information about clinical trials that debunks common myths and details the benefits of participation, ranging from medical to financial, for all eligible patients."
In response to this problem, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) encourages interested patients and caregivers to contact a Clinical Trial Matching Specialist by calling, toll-free, (800) 698-0931. The LCA Clinical Trials Matching Service is powered by EmergingMed.

In addition, the 2006-7 LCA Clinical Trials Matching Service Education Series provides lung cancer patients and caregivers in-depth information on the clinical trial process and research results of clinical trials.

The study was made possible with the support of AstraZeneca. Information regarding lung and other cancer clinical trials sponsored by AstraZeneca can be obtained by calling the AstraZeneca Cancer Support Network at 1-(866)-992-9276. AstraZeneca also supports the LCA Clinical Trials Matching Service Education Series. Together, AstraZeneca and Lung Cancer Alliance are striving to make cancer care a more personalized experience for those affected by the disease to ensure better outcomes for all patients in the communities where we live and work.

About the Survey:
Clinical Trial Awareness, Attitudes and Participation among Cancer Patients and Oncologists was conducted online by Shugoll Research with 200 cancer patients, 200 lung cancer patients and 200 oncologists between August 9th and August 18th, 2006. The accuracy for the cancer patient sample, lung cancer patient sample and the oncologist sample of 200 is +/- 7.0 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

About Lung Cancer Alliance
Lung Cancer Alliance is the only non-profit organization solely dedicated to patient support and advocacy for people living with, or at risk for, lung cancer. As the number one cancer killer, lung cancer will kill more than 160,000 Americans this year alone, causing more deaths than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney cancers and melanoma combined. For more information about Lung Cancer Alliance, please visit

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $23.95 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection products. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $10.77 billion healthcare business with more than 12,000 employees. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index. For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit:

buzz this

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Partnership provides disease management tools via cell phone

Partnership provides disease management tools via cell phone
A new partnership will provide pharma companies, disease management organizations, and other stakeholders with disease management services that are delivered via cell phone. BeWell Mobile, which provides engagement software for cell phones, is partnering with IT firm Wipro Technologies for the new service. According to BeWell, the partnership will allow disease management programs to have real-time communications with patients. Tools include an electronic diary, reminders, surveys, and other patient applications, as well as features for medical research. Currently, BeWell is involved in a National Cancer Institute-funded study with Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research and a pilot study for asthma management at San Mateo Medical Center and Clinics.
buzz this

Company brings gaming to world of physician marketing

Company brings gaming to world of physician marketing
BioLucid Productions is using medical gaming to usher in the next generation of physician engagement. The company, which has already penetrated the pharma and biotech market with 3D medical animation, is now producing MedGames for pharma companies, which use interactive 3D video games for medical education and marketing. According to Jeff Hazelton, founder and president of BioLucid, physicians play the games at pharma booths at trade shows, providing a good opportunity for reps to talk with engaged physicians. He tells ePharm5 that the objective of the game usually involves using the product's mechanism of action to prevent a disease state. There is also educational material mixed in that players need to read before proceeding to the next level. Hazelton says that physicians love it and that there's always a demand for the games at trade shows. BioLucid clients include Elan, which has created a MedGame, as well as Pfizer, Santarus, and Alcon Laboratories.
buzz this

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Live With It WIDEGET

buzz this

podcastHEALTH Widget

buzz this

The Era of TIVOCasting is Upon Us

I have been awaiting the release of TIVO desktop 2.4 for a few months now.  It’s supposed to become available sometime before Christmas.  However, Engadget seemed to have gotten a sneak peek.  For those who own a TIVO, this is very interesting.  For those who don’t, it still speaks to the incredible potential of the IP-TV future (e.g., Television “broadcast” over internet protocols).  Imagine that any person in the world, in similar fashion to YouTube, can post a video on TIVO and that anyone else in the world (who owns a similarly configured TIVO box) can watch it… on THEIR Television!!!  Soon, we will all have our own “cable” channels that anyone in the world can watch (and record).  And TIVO also plans to be launching a “search” feature (think Google on the TV), which will let others find any content by keyword (both professional and amateur).  Welcome to the age of TIVOcasting.  And guess what?   It’s just around the corner.


buzz this

Very interesting concept... inDplay



inDplay is the online marketplace for film, TV, and video rights. Buyers and sellers find, negotiate, and close distribution and exhibition deals. inDplay uncovers more programming, sales, and distribution opportunities for content owners, libraries, agents, and distributors.



buzz this

Citizen Media: The High School Years

Citizen Media: The High School Years

A yearbook portrait of the citizen-journalist upstarts trying to rule the media school.

Source: Fast Comapny | Issue 109 | October 2006 | Page 30 | By: Kevin Smokler

It wasn't long ago that "citizen media" meant a gang of political bloggers fact checking Dan Rather--and maybe a chubby kid doing a wild dance with a light saber. But my stars, how they've grown. Citizen media is about the aggregating, licensing and management of content created by everyday people for advertisers, marketers and product developers as well as the brokering of citizen media makers for live events. It's about the shift from a diffuse cacophony of voices to a viable business opportunity. A look around the Internet's homerooms confirms that citizen media has plunged into adolescence with business plans, VC money, and Hollywood waiting to cash in when they become of earning age. Of course, we've seen this pep rally before and know that today's valedictorian can be tomorrow's yearbook memory. But before the zits and angst set in, we present how citizen media really is like high school.

Student council

The BMOCs angling to be the Viacom and Disney of citizen media

Pod Show: Adam Curry's podcast network could be Citizen Media's first conglomerate, but it risks getting passed by medium-of-the-moment videoblogging and whatever comes after it.

Podtech: Pod Tech is looking to be the digital lifestyle's media of record with a network of corporate-branded podcasts, event coverage, and interviews with tech honchos. Most notably, it grabbed blogebrity Robert Scoble away from Microsoft. Its focus on b2b content could be more stable than consumer-focused media, but double check that after the next recession.

Weblogs Inc: AOL bought the blog publisher in 2005 and tapped founder Jason Calacanis to "save Netscape." Netscape's conversion this spring to a social bookmarking site has angered Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, the genre's heavyweight. The first publishing conglomerate of the Citizen Media has slimmed down to 10 blogs and stayed proudly independent. Still making mirco-celebrities of its editors and hauling in big name advertisers but is text-based blogging the future or so 2003?

9 Rules: Older and scrappier than Gawker or Weblogs Inc, 9 rules doesn't broker ads for its network of blogs but acts as a curator and promoter of independent content. Non-commerical and proud of it.

A/V Club

The video kids that want to create your home for uploading, hosting, and sharing video.

YouTube: The Library of Congress of citizen video clips and a ton of professional ones illegally uploaded too. If you haven't heard of them, we can't help you.

Dailymotion: Think Friendster with videos as the currency. This may be a prime example of late-to-the-party-piggybacking or just the mashup the space currently lacks. If YouTube is the public access cable of the Internet, then Blip is taking a TV-network approach. It focuses on serialized programming, distributing videos from such folks as CNN, Conde Nast and William Shatner's SciFi DVD Club (!) to iTunes, Dabble and other content aggregation spots. Producers can include opt-in advertising and license their videos through creative commons. A subsidiary of New York-based Connected Ventures (who also has a little-known project called College Humor), Vimeo claims nearly 70,000 registered users but is, at the moment, yet another site for sharing video clips. The madness created around a Google-You Tube acquisition may make short work of their anonymity.

Grouper: Sony's August acquisition of this YouTube lookalike may foretell what will happen to the online video space once the big boys crash the party.

(Class of 2007) Will bring the "network TV" model to video, catapulting it to success like those who followed this model for audio (Podshow) and blogging (Gawker Media).

Campus radio

These audiophiles want to make creating podcasts as easy as Web surfing.

Hipcast: Its simple interface lets bloggers create audio and video posts in seconds. Formally, Hipcast predates Odeo and was created by citizen journalism pioneer Eric Rice.

Libsyn: An open-source podcast creation and hosting site. It offers four tiers of paid memberships, podcast length, and audio quality.

Class of 2007 Has all the tools and talent to bring podcasting further into the mainstream, giving us no shortage of "Will Clear Channel buy Odeo?" rumors next year.


Their blogging tools began the citizen media revolution. How will they evolve?

Wordpress: The latecomer to blogging software is now the platform of choice among the blogerati and a San Francisco-based, five-person company headed by former Web 1.0 veteran (onetime Outpost CEO) Toni Schneider.

Six Apart: The husband-and-wife-founded company behind popular blogging tools Movable Type, Typepad and Vox, it acquired Web-based news aggregator Rojo this fall and mobile blogging client Splash data in the spring. Valley buzz predicts more grabs for this "little giant" of citizen media, long rumored a target themselves. Has the the Model T of citizen media gotten too comfortable at the Googleplex while social and mobile devices alter the meaning of the verb it helped invent? Or will potential new sibling You Tube rev it up again?


Where the media you create becomes the center of socializing

Dabble: Aggregates video from YouTube, and other hosting services and lets members tag and organize their clip collections into playlists. It could become the flickr of video, but are we ready for another media locker to keep tidy? Social networker Imeem has many of the same moves as its competitors (blogs, photos, media swapability) but is looking towards music sharing and hosting communities around large media properties to set it apart. For example, it's recently partnered with Virgin Records and Warner Independent Pictures.

(Class of 2007) The people-powered Citysearch is grabbing more metros by the day. Its Myspace take on cities could make local expertise the new digital currency.


City guides, dating and whole worlds created entirely by users. They just hand 'em the tools.

Second Life: Only two years old, this user-created universe has a GDP of $64 million and the real-world recognition that its forerunner Everquest never had. Marketers are suitably obsessed: The latest X-Men movie had a Second Life premiere and Adidas and American Apparel sell their virtual wares here. Maybe-presidential candidate Mark Warner has also been making the rounds.

People Aggregator: This pet project of Macromedia co-founder Marc Canter, People Aggregator's looking to be the giant bucket for your digital life. It includes a downloadable component for creating your own social network or stitching together others. The big question: Is this a great leap forward for an already crowded space or a ho-hum lateral slide?

Vox: The newest entry into Six Apart's portfolio of blogging tools, Vox gives personal publishing easy photo and video integration and a social network of private "neighborhoods." Still in invite only beta, Vox may be the all-in-one digital life People Aggregator is after or an even smaller slice of the blogging pie.

Consumating: Ostensibly began as a dating site for the geekily inclined but it's evolved into the too-old-for-MySpace social network of choice for nearly 20,000 users. CNET Networks acquired it last year.

Future Entrepreneurs

If there's gold in citizen media's hills, these guys are selling both the map and the shovels.

(Class of 2007) Federated Media: CEO John Battelle's standing in the blogosphere helped him build a boutique ad network on tech, parenting, business and automotive sites in just over a year. The Internet's the limit.

The Deck: An advertising network of bloggers with A-list standing in the Web and design communities. Run by Chicago-based agency Coudal Partners.

Blogads: An early advertising network for bloggers and other citizen mediamakers to build an ad-based business model to support their content, it became the preeminent player, repping citizen celebs like Daily Kos, Perez Hilton, and GoFugYourself. But recent gains by Federated Media and The Deck indicate that its hold on the social media advertising space is hardly firm.

Fruitcast: Aiming to be the Google AdSense of sound by making it easy to insert small ads in podcasts. Will need to develop critical mass or savvy partnerships soon. Company blog hasn't been updated since May.

Feedostyle: Turn rss feeds into syndicated content! Post that content on your blog! Premium members get content ad-free! If it can reassert that the RSS feed is the backbone of both podcasting and video blogging, it could set itself up as a prime acquisition target. But thus far, the geeks have done a terrible job of explaining what a feed is and what it's good for.

Radiotail: Utilizing more of an agency-model than competitor Fruitcast, Radiotail sells podcast advertising for both independent broadcasters and manages campaigns for media companies. Nikon and Microsoft have bought time.

Guidance counselor's office

Taking media to the next level by putting a price tag on it

Blogburst: Syndicates blog content to major media outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Gannett newspapers, and Parade Magazine. Its parent company Pluck also sells a number of tools for building communities around user-generated content, from user blogs to community photo galleries.

(Class of 2007) If it can get the right partners and management lined up, plan on seeing them invent the monetization of citizen media content the way Ebay did for the junk in your attic.

Hall monitors

Who's worth paying attention to and who's still a kid with a light saber? Ask them.

Tailrank: "Finding the best content from blogs so you don't have to" is the motto of San Francisco-based Tailrank. It ranks the top 150,000 blogs according to its own algorithm, and then publishes a scrolling ticker-tape of influential technology, political and general news memes. Users can also create their own news filters. No one has been able to communicate to the old media what are the most influential blogs, which is what Technorati should be doing. Rapleaf could grab this ground right out from under Dave Sifry and co.

The Attendance Board If you're not on technorati, you don't exist.

Student who makes the morning announcements

Conversations Network: The non-profit wing of for-profit GigaVox Media, the Conversations Network has been called "The NPR of Podcasting." Plans are in the works for GigaVox to distribute nearly 60 monthly programs of recorded lectures and presentations on business, technology and social entrepreneurship by the end of 2006.

Work crew repairing and cleaning up around school grounds

Wikimapia: Combines Google Earth and Wikipedia. Pick any spot on the planet and give it a tag. This is either mindless fun--if used for good--or the beginning of 1984 if used for evil.

Reader Riff
"Napster just doesn't have it anymore. No matter what they try, they aren't going to be the 'rebel' company that they were--and that's what attracted people to it. Anybody can do what they are doing; why would anybody want to do it through them?" --Gary Bourgeault

buzz this

Monday, December 04, 2006

Who Owns The Video Buy: Online or TV Buyers?

Who Owns The Video Buy: Online or TV Buyers?

AS ONLINE VIDEO ADVERTISING HEATS up, the question becomes, who actually owns the budget and the buy? Typically, media planners and buyers specialize in their own medium and, when they combine this with others, create a total plan that offers the client a complete and well-rounded campaign. However, with the advent and growth of online video advertising, the lines are getting fuzzy. Is it an online buy or is it a TV buy? The outlet is different but the assets are the same.

Let's look at this from both perspectives. Some would say that the online media buyers own the buy. This is their area of expertise; they have the contacts, know the landscape, and know how to place the buy and build a successful online campaign. To online media buyers, video advertising is a new ad unit which they can use as part of a larger, more integrated buy or as a stand-alone effort.

However, there is one problem. Some online media buyers do not have access to the video assets. In many cases, clients use different agencies for their online and broadcast advertising. This can make it difficult for an online media buyer to access the video assets, since they may be controlled or owned by another agency.

So, if the TV buyers own the video assets, then wouldn't it be logical that they buy the placements? Online video is a great extension of TV buys, reinforcing the messages and images that consumers are exposed to during their viewing time. In addition to reinforcing the brand, online video advertising offers a direct response component, giving interested consumers a way to act immediately through purchase, sign-up or information request. Because of this, online media buyers are provided with something that TV cannot offer: a real-time measurement of how well an ad creative is performing. As of today, the majority of video clips running online are repurposed television commercials, making the case for TV buyers to own the process even more compelling.

However, there is a small hurdle to overcome. Although TV buyers have vast amounts of expertise when it comes to buying TV placements, they may not be experienced in buying online placements. Many of the players in the online market are not the same as those in TV, and the logistics are also quite different, including such details as how it's priced and the metrics used. Today, TV buyers most likely do not have the relationships and knowledge of the marketplace needed to make effective buys. There are many subtleties and nuances to executing an effective online media buy that take time and practice to learn.

So what is the answer? The growth of online video advertising has taken the market by surprise, and everyone is trying to catch up. Online buyers and planners have the experience, while TV buyers and planners own the assets. Each group wants to take advantage of this great new opportunity for their clients, without surrendering any of their influence or assets to the other. As we move forward, convergence and collaboration will be critical to the success of advertisers, who will expect and demand that their needs be met, regardless of who the buyer of the media actually is.

What do you think? I would welcome comments and thoughts from agency buyers and planners on how you are dealing with the complexity of buying online video advertising.

Mike Cassidy is CEO of Undertone Video/Networks and Intercept Interactive.



buzz this

Earvin 'Magic' Johnson and Abbott Announce Major Initiative on World AIDS Day to Help Reduce New HIV/AIDS Infections Among African Americans

Earvin 'Magic' Johnson and Abbott Announce Major Initiative on World AIDS Day to Help Reduce New HIV/AIDS Infections Among African Americans

Abbott and the Magic Johnson Foundation Kick Off 'I Stand With Magic: Campaign to End Black AIDS'


LOS ANGELES, December 01, 2006 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott and the Magic Johnson Foundation today announced the national launch of the "I Stand with Magic: Campaign to End Black AIDS" with a goal to help reduce new HIV infections in the African-American community by 50 percent over five years. Half of all new HIV infections in the United States are among African-Americans who represent only 15 percent of the overall population in the United States. The "I Stand With Magic" program addresses awareness, prevention and successful treatment of HIV in the African-American and other minority communities.

Starting today, World AIDS Day, community members will be encouraged to enroll at , get tested for HIV and "stand" with Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Abbott in their fight against the HIV epidemic in the African-American community.

The rate of AIDS diagnoses for African Americans is approximately 10 times the rate of Caucasians and almost three times that of Hispanics. AIDS disproportionately affects African-American women, with a diagnosis rate 23 times that of Caucasian women. In 2002, HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death among African-American women between the ages of 24 and 54.

"With my partners at Abbott, I am proud to announce the launch of the 'I Stand with Magic' program to end black AIDS," said Earvin "Magic" Johnson. "I have seen the numbers of HIV infections continue to rise in the minority community and the time is now to take action in helping to lower those numbers. The 'I Stand with Magic' program encourages African Americans of all ages to stand with me and fight HIV/AIDS by getting tested, getting test results and encouraging at least four friends or family members to do the same."

Diagnosed with HIV 15 years ago, Johnson is now partnering with Abbott to share his story of hope and survival. Much has changed since Johnson's initial diagnosis, including advancements in testing, treatment and education. "I Stand With Magic" recognizes the advancements in HIV/AIDS and encourages empowerment and community action against the disease.

"Since Abbott joined the fight against HIV more than two decades ago, tremendous progress has been made. However, HIV is now having a disproportionate effect on the African-American community, which accounts for more than half of all new HIV infections," said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott. "Getting people tested is the first line of defense. Together, with Mr. Johnson, we hope to make a real, measurable difference and help change the course of this disease in the United States."

Kick-off events for "I Stand with Magic" today include a series of three HIV testing events in the Los Angeles area, where HIV rates are continually on the rise in the African-American community. Community members are encouraged not only to get tested but also to wait for the results of their rapid HIV tests. Other testing events this month in Philadelphia and New York will follow. Details will be available at .

About "I Stand with Magic"

Through the "I Stand with Magic" program, Abbott and the Magic Johnson Foundation are joining forces to address the alarming rise of HIV/AIDS in the African-American community. Through this partnership, Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Abbott will create educational activities and testing events in cities with high HIV infection rates. The initiative has already embarked on a 10-city tour of schools and counseling centers across the nation to provide HIV testing, education, and additional resources for HIV positive individuals. For more information and to "Stand with Magic" in the fight against HIV/AIDS, visit .

About the Magic Johnson Foundation

The Magic Johnson Foundation was established in 1991 as a single-disease organization that works to raise funds for community-based organizations dealing with HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs. The Foundation has since responded to the growing need to address all aspects of our youth's lives by expanding its mission. This expanded mission emphasizes the Foundation's focus on supporting community-based organizations and development programs that serve the health, educational and social needs of those residing in minority communities.

About Abbott

Abbott has been a leader in HIV/AIDS research since the early years of the epidemic. In 1985, the company developed the first licensed test to detect HIV antibodies in the blood and remains a leader in HIV diagnostics. Abbott retroviral and hepatitis tests are used to screen more than half of the world's donated blood supply. Abbott has also developed two protease inhibitors for the treatment of HIV.

Abbott and the Abbott Fund are investing $100 million in developing countries to advance HIV testing, treatment and support services for people affected by HIV/AIDS. Through pioneering programs that help prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, expand access to testing and treatment, strengthen health systems, and provide support for children, Abbott has helped improve the health and lives of millions of people affected by HIV/AIDS.

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs 65,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at .

CONTACT: Media, Ilke Arici of Abbott, +1-847-938-8551, or Tammy Warren ofMagic Johnson Foundation, +1-310-247-2033

Web site:

buzz this