Friday, March 06, 2009
Facebook redesign is good news for brands
Facebook has announced the redesign of its Facebook "pages" and other product updates features, giving brands more freedom. Under the new design, Facebook pages will look and function more like a typical user's profile. Brand pages will also move from within segregated areas of Facebook to within users' social graphs. These changes will enable marketers to gain more control over the content in their brand profile and communicate more freely with "friends."
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 12:01 PM
Doctors try to prevent patients from writing online reviews
Some physicians have started asking patients to sign agreements barring them from posting negative comments on physician ratings Web sites, reports the AP/Contra Costa Times. The physicians say they are taking this measure because of concerns about the fairness of the anonymous online reports. A company called Medical Justice will provide physicians with a standardized patient waiver agreement for a fee. The company advises physicians to ask all patients to sign the agreement and refuse care to those who will not. John Swapceinski, cofounder of RateMDs.com, said he opposes such waivers because they force patients to choose between healthcare and free speech.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 12:00 PM
Brand-name antidepressant and sleep aid sales up in 2008
Prescriptions for brand-name sleep aids jumped 7% despite experiencing cutbacks in marketing efforts, according to IMS Health. Brand-name antidepressant sales are also up 15%, although marketing costs aren't as clear. Experts say the economy is to blame for the rise of sleeping pill sales, with 31% of respondents in a National Sleep Foundation poll reporting they are losing sleep over the economy and their personal finances. Increased sleep aid sales are especially notable because of the drastic decrease in marketing spend. According to TNS Media Intelligence, Ambien CR spending fell from $190 million in 2007 to $150 million in 2008. Lunesta spending also dropped from $271 in 2007 to $107 in 2008.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 12:00 PM
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Fard Johnmar writes: "In a much anticipated decision, the Supreme Court
today held that individuals have the right to sue pharmaceutical
companies for harm even if the Food and Drug Administration certifies
that a medication as safe and effective."
Click below for more.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 2:59 PM
Abbott Labs Fires Agency That Screwed Up Humira Ads
By Jim Edwards March 5th, 2009 @ 11:10 am
Abbott Labs has put its $70 million Humira ad account in review. The review follows a warning letter from the FDA about Humira’s advertising, which the government called “misleading.” The incumbent agency on the business is Harrison & Star, according to Adweek. The shop has had Humira since 2005, per Pharma Exec.
When drug agencies are fired after a high-profile screwup, the temptation is to figure out who to blame. Was it the agency that made the ad? Or the client, whose compliance department no doubt signed off on it before it ran? In this case, Abbott appears to have decided that H&S is at fault.
Link to ad:
The ad in question is a doozy. It ran in a trade journal for the American Academy of Dermatology. See a closeup here. It featured a closeup of diseased body under the headline, “Now approved for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.”
That turns out not to be true. Humira is technically approved for “the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy, and when other systemic therapies are medically less appropriate.”
With the FDA, the devil is in the details.
You’ll notice that the safety information at the bottom of the ad is almost unreadable unless you magnify it by more than 100 percent. The FDA didn’t like that at all:
… the presentation of the complete indication is written in white text on a pink background in an extremely small font size, rendering this information nearly illegible, while the broad, misleading statement of the indication and the accompanying graphic of the patient are presented very prominently and can be easily seen by viewers of the advertisement.
Bottom line: Agencies pitching this account should assume that Abbott is now hypersensitive to FDA review, and thus you’ll need a creative strategy that fits well within the regulatory lines.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 1:27 PM
Excerpt from Shwen's blog on ePharma 2009:
"Seeing that this conference covered all aspects of eMarketing in Pharma, a variety of topics were covered, from reaching MDs online to online media mix to market research. Of course, there were also panels that covered Social Media — which was a recurring theme that was brought up throughout the conference — including Josh Bernoff’s great keynote on leveraging Groundswell, with some new and interesting data on health/pharma topics. By the way, this is another good example of where the organizers have thought outside the traditional box and invited a non-pharma KOL in social media.
Of all the sessions, however, I do think that the best discussion of the conference had to be the panel on “Driving Policy/Guidelines Around the Use of Social Media in Pharma“, which featured an esteemed panel consisting of: Robert Goldberg (moderator), Marc Monseau, Fabio Gratton, and Fard Johnmar. You can read more about it at the ePharma Summit blog and I also recorded the session, but will need to check with all parties involved before being able to publish it, so let’s hope.
So, if I had to narrow it down to three key takeaways from the meeting, here’s what they would be…"
Cick here for the full article:
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 11:17 AM
Diabetes online community contest opens
Online diabetes community DiabetesMine announced the opening of its 2009 DiabetesMine Design Challenge, a competition created to promote innovation and encourage new tools to improve the lives of diabetics. The Web-based competition is underwritten by the California HealthCare Foundation and endorsed by Medgadget.com, the Internet journal of emerging medical technologies. The grand prize is $10,000, with total prizes awarded equaling $17,000. Sanofi-aventis advertises its drug Apidra on diabetesmine.com.
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 6:26 AM
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Monday, March 02, 2009
MS&L Launches Proprietary Social Activism Marketing Offering to Leverage
New Age of Cause Marketing
BOSTON, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- MS&L, one of the world's leading
communications firms, today announced the launch of its Social Activism
Marketing specialty, a bold approach that blends the power of corporate
social responsibility and cause marketing with the penetration of
digital tools to spawn social movements that move messages, product and
profit on behalf of companies and brands.
The new specialty will be launched at an evening event in Boston on
February 26 featuring cause marketing experts who will explore the power
of social activism. Attending the event will be Thomas Gensemer,
managing partner of Blue State Digital, which spearheaded Obama for
America's extensive online fundraising and peer-to-peer networking
initiatives, and Eleanor Dowling, editorial and community leader of
changeagents.com and a key player in the success of Timberland's
Earthkeeper Heroes Program. Gensemer and Dowling will join MS&L's CSR
and marketing experts to explore the renewed focus on cause marketing in
the context of President Obama's spotlight on community service and the
increased corporate interest in connecting to a higher purpose.
MS&L's proprietary Social Activism Marketing (SAM) Optimization process
includes four stages of social movement that corporations can utilize to
develop unique cause programs. The SAM process takes into account the
current economic environment, research on the relationship between
corporations and service, and the power of relationship management via
digital tools. MS&L will help clients identify the intersection of
corporate social responsibility and cause marketing to facilitate social
movements, drive influence and maximize the reach of a particular
"We consider 2009 the year when values and activism will come together
to transform communications and marketing," said Scott Beaudoin, senior
vice president and director of cause marketing at MS&L. "Our methodology
for Social Activism Marketing pinpoints the best ways to hyper-engage
consumers and influencers in support of a powerfully relevant cause,
producing maximum business results and social impacts for the sponsor."
A unique relationship between corporate values, activism and reputation
has emerged, influencing the launch of MS&L's SAM specialty. Proprietary
research from the MS&L Worldwide Global Values study, conducted in May
2008 in partnership with GfK Roper Public Affairs, underscores the ripe
opportunity for companies and brands to leverage consumer activism on
social issues and their unprecedented access to information about
The study of 1,000 U.S. consumers found that:
* 72 percent believe a company or organization can have "values"
just the way people do;
* 85 percent believe a company can be financially successful by
behaving in "a responsible way;"
* 56 percent of describe it as "very important" to them to know
about the values of the companies with whom they do business;
* 77 percent almost always or sometimes pay attention to company's
values when deciding whether to give it their business; and
* 59 percent said they can a lot or some about an organization's
"real values" through online information.
"It's clear that the concepts of value and values are rapidly merging in
the minds of consumers," said Jim Tsokanos, president of MS&L, North
America. "People want to be engaged with companies that share their
values. Our Social Activism Marketing specialty will help organizations
capitalize on the growing expectation that profit should be pursued in a
responsible way locally, nationally and globally."
The launch of this new specialty builds on MS&L's innovative CSR work in
the consumer, corporate and healthcare areas. In 2008, MS&L was honored
as the top agency in CSR by Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine;
won Cause-Related Campaign of the Year from PRWeek in 2007 and Best Use
of the Internet honors from PRWeek in 2006 and 2007; and is currently a
PRWeek finalist for Cause-Related Campaign of the Year. MS&L works with
companies such as Sunkist Growers and Procter & Gamble on
ground-breaking cause programs that empower individuals to contribute to
social causes in their communities and around the world.
MS&L is a leading global communications firm and part of MS&L Worldwide,
a network of communications brands and consultancies with 54 offices in
North America, Latin America, EMEA and Asia, as well as an extensive
affiliate network. The agency specializes in using research, insights
and technology to create and execute powerful communications strategies
that are critical to client success. With a unique combination of
advice, advocacy and action, MS&L delivers measurable business results
for many of the world's largest companies and most successful brands.
MS&L Worldwide (mslworldwide.com <http://www.mslworldwide.com/> ) is a
member of the Publicis Groupe (Euronext Paris: FR0000130577), the
world's fourth largest communications group, and a global leader in
digital and online advertising, media consulting, and healthcare
communications. With some 45,000 professionals in 104 countries, the
Groupe's activities cover advertising through three global advertising
networks: Leo Burnett, Publicis, Saatchi & Saatchi, as well as through
its two multi-hub networks Fallon Worldwide and 49%-owned Bartle Bogle
Hegarty; media agencies with two worldwide networks ZenithOptimedia and
Starcom MediaVest Group; and marketing services, including digital and
interactive communications through Digitas, relationship and direct
marketing, public and media relations, corporate and financial
communications, multicultural communications, and event communications.
The Groupe is also the world leader in healthcare communications. Web
site: www.publicisgroupe.com <http://www.publicisgroupe.com/> .
CONTACT: Sara Donaldson
Posted by Fabio Gratton at 7:45 AM