Thursday, June 14, 2007

Number of broadband users reaches 300m

Number of broadband users reaches 300m

Platform: Internet | Author: Suzanne Bearne | Source: | Published: 14.06.07

The internet research firm found that there are over 1.1bn internet users worldwide with nearly a third using the internet via high speed connections.

South Korea topped the list of the countries with the highest broadband penetration with 90% of households online whereas in the UK only 55.5% were online via broadband.

The US remained the country with the most broadband users with over 60m users, followed by China with 56m. The UK ranked sixth with almost 14m broadband subscribers.

The data also revealed that Eastern Europe was the only region to achieve more than 10% growth during the quarter.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Widgets Already Ready for Prime Time

Widgets Already Ready for Prime Time


The Wall Street Journal
So-called "widgets" (no, not the economics term for "product") could become major drivers of advertising on social media sites, says The Wall Street Journal. In the Web 2.0 world, "widgets" refer to interactive photo, video and music tools that allow everyday users to post content--movie trailers, photo slide shows, music playlists--to their site or social networking profile. New research from comScore shows that consumers are increasingly interacting with this type of broadband content: in April, nearly 178 million people Web-wide viewed content made with these so-called widgets. The comScore report is one of the first to measure the reach of widget-producers like Slide, Inc. RockYou Inc., and PictureTrail, Inc.
Advertisers, no doubt, must now sit up and take notice. Those are some big numbers from a relatively new phenomenon, and the sky's the limit: a widget could also be anything from an interactive video ad to a branded advergame. For a video provider like YouTube, a "widget" is another piece of content to sell advertising against.

Part of the reason that widgets have caught fire is their ease of use. Slide, the category's top provider with 117.1 million users in April, makes producing a video slide show on your MySpace page as easy as clicking a few buttons or copying and pasting a piece of code. As the Journal report says, widgets are rapidly becoming the de facto form of self-expression through broadband content. However, the problem for widget makers is that they largely depend on MySpace and Facebook, which have a history of blocking third-party content makers, for distribution.

Read the whole story... <

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Johnson & Johnson's BabyCenter Web site expands to China

Johnson & Johnson's BabyCenter Web site expands to China

Johnson & Johnson member-company BabyCenter LLC is expanding to China, it reports. The Web site BabyCenter China will give more than 56 million new and expectant mothers access to prenatal and parenting information and resources, as well as an online community. The U.S version of BabyCenter reaches 78% of all new and expecting moms in the United States in a year and is the category leader in online parenting sites in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. In 2007, it's estimated that there will be 20 million babies born in China--five times as many as in the United States. BabyCenter China will give those new parents access to stage-based content and resources, including a pregnancy calendar and e-mail newsletters with personalized fetal, baby, or child development information.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

P&G study: No correlation between adherence, number of pills

P&G study: No correlation between adherence, number of pills

A new Procter & Gamble-sponsored study shows that the number of pills a patient has to take does not affect how well the patient adheres to the medication. Although persistence for once-daily drugs ranged from 17% to 59%, the study found no noticeable difference in persistence among drugs that are meant to be taken daily, twice daily, and three times daily. According to P&G, the study suggests that the reasons behind non-adherence are often varied and can be patient specific. The study examined more than 19,000 health service reimbursement records and specifically analyzed patients taking calcium channel blockers with copays of at least $20. Although the P&G study found no variance in adherence among patients who are required to take medications with at least daily frequency, a Roche study last year showed improved adherence with a monthly, rather than weekly, dosing regimen (ePharm5, 7/21/06).

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Monday, June 11, 2007

"Give Your Legs a Rest"

Am I the only one that finds this game quite addictive?
April 18, 2007 “Give Your Legs A Rest” is a new game produced for WebMD. This game was developed for WebMD’s client, Mirapex, a drug intended to treat Restless Leg Syndrome as well as Parkinson’s disease. Mirapex is produced by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies headquarted in Germany.

The game is available on the WebMD site -

[This game was created by, which has actually produced a great deal of Advergames]

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Univision Taps Maven To Power Consumer Video Portal

Univision Taps Maven To Power Consumer Video Portal
by Gavin O'Malley, Monday, Jun 11, 2007 6:00 AM ET
UNIVISION ONLINE HAS TAPPED MAVEN Networks to power its new consumer video portal targeting the Hispanic community.

Univision last week launched a video portal on its Web site,, where visitors can now view clips from Univision TV shows, interviews with Hispanic celebrities, music videos, news and sports clips.

Specifically, Maven is helping Univision scale its digital delivery platform as the online Hispanic community continues to grow, and with it's audience.

"Hispanic online users are expected to grow to over 20 million by 2010, and clearly this is a vital audience," said Hilmi Ozguc, founder and CEO of Maven Networks.

The interactive subsidiary of Univision Communications has also partnered with major wireless carriers to launch a wireless video subscription service through Univision Movil, and plans to launch a new social networking service shortly.

The video portal is part of Unilever's larger effort to vacuum in online ad dollars with new digital initiatives including a Web-only novella being co-produced with Unilever. The novella, which is expected to debut in July, features Unilever's Caress body-care brand and follows extensive research by Unilever about how to target a growing young Latin female audience.

Univision has long dominated the three Spanish-language networks, with the NBC Universal-owned Telemundo and Telefutura left fighting for distant second place., meanwhile, is the most visited Spanish-language Web site in the United States with over 15 million unique browsers per month, according to internal metrics accredited by the MRC.

Univision Online showed strong growth in the first quarter, increasing page impressions by 27% and unique visits by 46% year-over-year, the company reported in March.

Media companies using Maven's Internet TV platform to stream video online include 20th Century Fox, A&E Television Networks, CBS's CSTV, Hearst, Sony Pictures Television and Univision Online.

Gavin O'Malley can be reached at

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Many Pharma Brand Managers Find Marketing Mix Lacking

Many Pharma Brand Managers Find Marketing Mix Lacking
by Tanya Irwin, Monday, Jun 11, 2007 5:00 AM ET
A FULL QUARTER OF PHARMACEUTICAL brand managers believe their current marketing mix is only performing "reasonably well" or "not well at all," while over 40% of the respondents say they are doing "very well" or "extremely well," a survey finds.

Over 80% of respondents say an integrated direct marketing program is an important part of promoting a brand, with almost half calling this extremely important. The results also show that almost three out of four respondents currently employ an integrated direct marketing program to promote their brands.

In addition, aside from face-to-face communication, respondents feel that tele-detailing (with offers for samples and/or literature, etc.) and teleconferencing (promotional or consultant advisory boards) are the most effective marketing tactics to drive a positive return on investment.

The study was conducted via phone and e-mail by PharmaKinnex, a New Jersey-based pharma marketing firm. It gauged the marketing communications preferences of 21 brand managers polled in April. The results represent the responses of a random sample of 10% of the managers working for key firms in the industry.

Turning the tables a bit, brand managers were also asked how they would like to be marketed to. The study reveals a split opinion on what brand managers feel is the best approach to help them learn more about integrated marketing approaches. Web, direct mail, and in-person presentations were the methods selected most often.

"It's revealing that so many brand managers are looking to integrated direct-mail marketing in their promotions, but that among this same group, not all of them are putting this approach into practice," says Michael White, PharmaKinnex CEO. "Clearly, there is an opportunity for growth in this area."

The difference between what brand managers say they think is effective and what they are doing could be due to the lag time in being able to make changes to previously implemented marketing programs, White tells Marketing Daily.

Pharmaceutical companies spend about $4 billion annually on direct-to-consumer advertising, according to IMS Health.

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GlaxoSmithKline Launches $150 Million Effort For Alli

GlaxoSmithKline Launches $150 Million Effort For Alli
by Karl Greenberg, Monday, Jun 11, 2007 5:00 AM ET
GLAXOSMITHKLINE (GSK) CONSUMER HEALTHCARE HAS launched the first salvo of its $150 million effort for Alli, the first FDA-approved over-the-counter weight loss drug in years. The effort for Alli (pronounced like ally) launched on May 22 in New York City. The company took over the vaulted-ceiling main room of 20 Union Square for its multimedia exhibit called Alli Experience.

The central tenet of the experience--and of the drug, which goes on sale mid-June--is gradual weight loss and a "don't expect miracles" approach embodied by the tag, "Your will. Our power."

The compound, an attenuated version of prescription drug Xenical (Orlistat 120mg), works by inhibiting the function of intestinal enzymes that facilitate the body's absorption of fat. The company says it blocks the absorption of about a quarter of the fat one consumes. GSK will sell Alli in product packets that include a 30-day supply and a series of books including calorie counters, diets and recipes, lifestyle tips, and a diary.

Since the compound--intended to be taken three times daily--is being pitched as a companion to dieting rather than a replacement for it, the company's marketing and the exhibit attack fad and crash diets and repeat, in different forms, the mantra that dieting is a commitment that takes time, pill or no pill.

The first area of the exhibit is a passage flanked by video screens playing clips of miracle diet ads and stories debunking them, while speakers play a cacophonous loop of quick-diet pitches.

The next space is a bench next to a wall of sayings like "there are no shortcuts." There's an interactive section featuring tables with Mac computers letting one view content on how Alli works, on dieting, etc., and there are areas featuring examples of various dishes and snacks--some healthier than others--with big turntables showing real food under glass and their respective caloric and fat content.

A dietitian and pharmacist are also on hand. Visitors leave with a shopping bag of brochures, games, surveys and a book, Are you Losing It? The book is for sale in pharmacies and bookstores for $5.99, the proceeds going to child obesity charities.

Joe Cadle, Marketing Director/Weight Control of GSK Consumer Healthcare, says that although GSK positions the treatment in contradistinction to compounds claiming to "melt off the pounds," the competition is not miracle drugs--because, he says, people who reach for quick and easy solutions to weight problems won't be interested in Alli. "People who tend to buy miracle drugs are looking for a quick fix, so we aren't competing with them. Our efforts are positioned against those selling to consumers committed to doing the hard work."

Says Cadle: "When you take a look at the messages out right now, a lot of products are being marketed as miracle fixes: 'Lose 20 pounds in two weeks!' Alli is about changes toward a healthy lifestyle that require a commitment."

Cadle says the marketing group realized, through consumer research, that consumers have no clue what the difference is between an FDA-approved compound and any number of so-called diet drugs lining shelves and being promoted in ads. "People intuitively don't trust these things any more--they hear these claims, and know they are not true. We want to be an honest voice in a category known for hype. The truth is, losing weight is hard ... and that resonates." He explained that Alli is intended to offer a kind of bonus for the work of dieting via extra "bonus" weight lost. "One woman in a focus group says those extra five pounds would be priceless."

Debbie Weis, GSK Consumer Healthcare senior brand manager, says that, depending on the response to the Alli Experience in New York, which ended last week, the company plans to have additional programs in other markets.

One of the staff pharmacists says as many as 1,300 people have come through on a given day, with many of them asking questions about the effect of Alli on diabetes and cholesterol-lowering drugs. Cadle says GSK is doing targeted efforts via sales teams and targeted communications to physicians on specific health issues.

Overall, per Weis, about 5,000 people have come through the exhibit since the opening. "They are spending around 10 minutes in the space, on average. That's more than we expected."

The company began running a "drive-to-web" 30-second TV spot earlier this month, and Cadle says that the Alli Web site,, has garnered 1 million unique visitors since launch.

Per Cadle, this month GSK will launch a 60-second TV commercial and will ramp up Internet efforts. Print efforts will include 15 million four-page inserts in July and August issues of women's magazines with an "accordion-fold" pull-out.

"From a marketing perspective, we are developing content that can travel, content you can carry--we want to educate consumers at every possible touch point [about] where they can find Alli," he says.

Display kiosks at pharmacies and stores selling Alli will be focused less on product pitch than education and self-inquiry about will power, Cadle says--with brochures on lifestyle and diet choices, assessment tests, even a telephone at some retail points that have audio challenging consumers to think about whether they are willing to make the commitment. The company is also running video content on YouTube.

Consumers can purchase the Alli starter kit from sites like for $49.25 for a 60 capsule-count starter pack and for $62.99 for a 90-capsule starter pack, per a GSK spokesperson. However, the retail cost of the product in stores may vary a little based on the individual retailer promotional plans.

Karl Greenberg can be reached at

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