Saturday, May 16, 2009

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Allergan launches "Botox Cosmetic: Express Success" Charitable Education Campaign

Allergan, Inc. Announces the 'Botox Cosmetic: Express Success' Charitable Education Campaign, Committing $250,000 to the Not-For-Profit Dress for Success

Press Release:


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Sanofi-aventis Introduces Sanofi-aventis TV

Paris, France – May 15, 2009 – Sanofi-aventis (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) announced today the launch of sanofi-aventis TV, a new webTV aimed at providing information about the company’s wide range of patient-focused businesses, social responsibilities, and employee activities.

The site will also provide perspectives on the company’s mission and strategic directions. “As part of the company’s overall goal to increase transparency and understanding of its operations inside and outside its walls, sanofi-aventis TV will be a continually updated source of interactive information”, said Christopher A. Viebacher, Chief Executive Officer of sanofi-aventis.”This new means of communication is another example of the transformation process underway within sanofi-aventis”, he added.

Available to everyone on the internet, sanofi-aventis TV is a new window onto the life of the company, its activities and commitments in all countries where the Group is present. Through short, regularly updated videos, sanofi-aventis TV offers a wide variety of programmes and formats - interviews, profiles, reports - for its different audiences, including patients, healthcare professionals, Group employees, medias, financial analysts, and shareholders.

Check it out:

About sanofi-aventis
Sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to improve the lives of everyone. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

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Great Expectations Move Into A Bleak House

Source: MediaPost
by Dan Coates (twitter @surveyu)
Dan's Company: Survey U

Entering the toughest job market in the past 25 years, Gen Y finds the future's not so bright, resulting in the kind of anxiety that even Eli Lilly can't tame. Surveys of current college students conducted this spring provide increasing evidence that, as we transition away from plenty, members of Gen Y feel ill-equipped to deal with scarcity.

Nearly all (95%) of current college students feel that the economy will have an impact on their careers, and seven out of ten undergrads (71%) expect to extend their academic careers with a master's, doctoral or professional degree as a way to avoid the current job market. With colleges bursting at the seams to welcome the largest freshman class in American history, there's little chance that the resources of U.S. academic institutions (or their parents' financial resources, for that matter) will allow them to dodge the economy indefinitely.

Rather than looking to land a job on Wall Street, current college students are looking for careers within education and healthcare, areas targeted by the largesse of the Obama administration. Non-profit, legal and accounting round out the top-five targets for college students expecting to enter the workforce.

After idolizing the achievements of wunderkinds like Mark Zuckerberg, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, current college students are not looking for an entrepreneurial solution to the current malaise. While slightly less than three quarters of current college students anticipate starting a business at some point in the future, only one in five (20%) feel that they are very (6%) or somewhat (14%) likely to do so upon graduation. In contrast to the get-rich-quick schemes that pervade boom-times, most collegians (56%) expect to retire in their 60's and nearly one in five (17%) expect to retire in their 70's.

High hopes are deflating to the kind of modesty that is unbecoming of the entitlement generation. More than two out of five (43%) of college students expect a starting salary of less than $45,000 with an average starting salary expectation of $52,400 across all college students, far below the lofty starting salaries offered to graduates over the past decade.

Whether caused by dimmer prospects or a shunning of material desires, college students are shifting away from financial compensation as a career motivator. Less materialistic concepts such as "personal satisfaction" (mentioned by 43% of collegians) and "experience gained" (mentioned by 22%) are seen as more important than "money," which is the third-most mentioned motivator (mentioned by 16%).

In a surprising turnaround from the past two decades, workplace loyalty is a resurging theme among collegians, with three out of five (61%) expecting to stay at the company within which they initially work for a period of five years and half (51%) expecting to stay for a period of ten years.

These trends will have a long-lasting impact on Gen Y. Lisa Kahn, a Yale School of Management economist, has studied the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and finds that the damage done by entering the workplace during a downturn will last 15 years past graduation day. What begins as a 7%-8% reduction in starting salary persists, maintaining a 4%-5% pay disparity 12 years later.

While the full impact on the Gen Y generation will have much to do with when and how the economy recovers, marketers accustomed to the rich and easy Gen Y target will find that they need to work a little harder to understand how and where their products will find fertile ground among a generation that is rethinking many of their core values.

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Companies provide health videos, risk assessments for each other

Source: ePharm5

Web and mobile video content provider AnswersMedia is offering health video content for health management tools from eCare Solutions. AnswersMedia and its partner American Association of Family Physicians provide video and text patient education to more than 3,000,000 unique viewers per month.

It will provide videos for the eCareConnect Suite of health management solutions, including the Personal Health Desktop and mobile content. In exchange, eCare will be the exclusive provider of Health Risk Assessment, health claims analysis, and related predictive modeling tools to AnswersMedia. These tools will be used in various media outlets, consumer Web sites, cable channels, and mobile content outlets.

Also, check out AnswersTV Health.

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The display, pharmaceutical connection

Pharma marketers may want to invest a bit more time and effort into the display portion of their online advertising campaigns. According to a recent study from metrics firms comScore and Crossix, as well as Yahoo, online display ads are driving significant traffic to pharma marketers websites.

by Kristina Knight
Original Post: BizReport

The report is based on statistics from more than 70 million consumers impacted by online campaigns.

According to the report consumers were three times more likely to visit a pharma website and two times as likely to fill a prescription after engaging with a display ad. Researchers further found that consumers were more than 90% more likely to place search queries based on trademarked names or phrases after viewing a display ad.

Although online display is thought to be less engaging than online video or less impactful because many consumers seem to 'tune out' the ads, this research shows that display can still be a powerful tool. Especially with rich media, clickable banners or interactive display options, marketers should not phase display from their online campaigns. Rather, display ads should be seen as a way to drive traffic to a web hub where the content, including video in some cases, can readily engage the consumer base.

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Twitter for health and healthcare

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Google Lifts Ban on Trademark Terms for Search Ads

Move Could Increase Keyword Costs for Blue-Chip Brands

By Michael Learmonth

Published: May 14, 2009
Original Post:

NEW YORK ( -- Get ready for an influx of brand names in Google keyword ads. The search giant, which until now has prohibited the use of trademarked brand terms in ad text on its search-results page, except when permitted by the brand itself, is now allowing the use of trademarked terms in AdWords copy -- under some circumstances, that is.

The change will mean that a retailer such as Best Buy will be free to use "Sony" or "Apple" in its ad copy and comparison sites such as will be able to place ads that contain trademarked terms like "Ford Focus," even if they don't have explicit permission.

Google's AdWords system lets advertisers place their ad messages, which carry a 70-character limit, around a user's search results, often seen on top or to the right on a search-results page.

The new policy, scheduled to go into effect June 15, brings Google in line with Yahoo and Microsoft, which have more liberal policies toward the use of trademarked brands in ads that appear on search pages. The goal for Google is to make all those sponsored links less generic and more effective, potentially boosting click-through rates -- and Google's bottom line.

"We do think this will generate higher-quality ads and that more people will click on them," said Terri Chen, senior trademark counsel at Google.

Additional screening

The policy change will require Google to implement another level of screening to its approval process for ad copy and it will give brands fewer options when their trademarked terms are used in ways they don't like. Under the current policy, only entities authorized to use brand names are allowed to submit them in ad copy. With the change, retailers that sell a brand such as Nike will be able to use the brand's name in their ads, as will sellers of components or replacement parts and impartial information and review sites.

Those that won't be able to use brand names include sites that sell counterfeit goods, retailers that primarily sell a competitor's products, advertisers that criticize the trademarked brand and those that do not refer to a landing page with a purchase option.

For example, an organization called Corporate Responsibility International is advertising against the "Coke" keyword for its campaign against plastic water bottles. Under the new policy, it would appear to break two of Google's rules, likely meaning it still wouldn't be able to include "Coke" in its ad copy.

Google will check both the ad itself and the landing page to assure the advertiser is eligible to use the brand before approving ad text.

Losing control

With the change, brands will lose an element of control. And, as more retailers are able to use brand names in their ads, it may create added competition for branded keywords. The change will only apply to searches in the U.S.

"If you're a brand selling products or services directly, your costs are going to go up," predicted Bryan Wiener, CEO of digital agency 360i. "You are going to see increased competition for terms like 'Sony' because retailers with Sony products are going to be bidding on those keywords at a greater rate."

Overall, one could argue that's good for Sony or JetBlue or Starwood Hotels -- or any other brand that relies on third-party resellers for sales. But it could increase costs for their own direct sales due to heightened competition for branded search terms. Google, on the other hand, argues that more specific ads will give consumers more choice. "It will help consumers because it will allow them to see more ads from more resellers," Ms. Chen said.

While it may be a mixed bag for the brands themselves, it's a big win for small stores, big-box retailers and travel sites that will now have much more freedom to market the merchandise on their shelves, virtual and otherwise.

"Aggregators selling hotel rooms will have a greater opportunity to build market share but at the expense of each hotel," Mr. Wiener said.

One potential winner

Rick Culleton, CEO of Discount Electronics in Austin, Texas, thinks it will be a boon for his business. Discount Electronics only sells refurbished parts for Dell Computers, but Mr. Culleton has never been able to use "Dell" in his keyword ads.

"It has caused us to play charades with our customers because we cannot use the words to describe what we're selling," he said. Discount Electronics sells about $15 million in computer parts a year, about half of that online, and Mr. Culleton spends about $500,000 a year on Google ads. But he's planning to boost that outlay under the new policy.

"I think we will spend more on Google because we will get better results and we will be bidding more because these clicks are going to be worth more to everyone," he said. "I think I will see a dramatic increase in new customers."

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Use online video to strengthen relationships with your online community

Source: Permission TV

2008 saw the emergence of social media tools as a way to engage customers in two way dialogue. Additionally, studies indicated that online video became one of the most effective ways to engage customers online. This free panel discussion will focus on ways to use online video to enhance the two-way dialogue with customers and prospects and strengthen your online community.

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Free Report from PWC: "PHARMA 2020 - WHICH PATH WILL YOU TAKE?"

Most Big Pharma companies have traditionally done everything from research and development (R&D) through to commercialization themselves. However, by 2020 this model will no longer work for many organizations. If they are to prosper, they will need to improve their R&D productivity, reduce their costs, tap the potential of the emerging economies and switch from selling medicines to managing outcomes. These activities few companies, if any, can accomplish on their own.

The Report, which is divided into 4 parts and provided for FREE by Price Waterhouse Coopers, explores the some key issues, provides valuable insights, and lays out a roadmap that can help pharma make the transition to a new business model successfully.

PART 4: Pharma 2020: Challenging business models - Which path will you take? - April 2009

Fourth in the Pharma 2020 series, this report explains why Pharma's fully integrated business models may not be the best option for the pharma industry in 2020 and why more creative collaboration models may be more attractive. The paper also evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative business models and how each stands up against the challenges facing the industry.

PART 3: Pharma 2020: Marketing the future - Which path will you take? - February 2009

Third in the PwC Pharma 2020 series, discusses how the industry is no longer being rewarded for incremental innovation, me-too products and selling the most pills. Companies need to add value to patients, and offer a package of products and health services that the market is willing to pay a premium for.

PART 2: Pharma 2020: Virtual R&D - Which path will you take? - June 2008

Second in the series explores opportunities to improve the R&D process. This paper proposes that new technologies will enable the adoption of virtual R & D; and by operating in a more connected world, industry, in collaboration with researches, governments, healthcare payers and providers, can address the changing needs of society more effectively.

PART 1: Pharma 2020: The vision - Which path will you take? - June 2007

First in the series highlights a number of issues that will have a major bearing on the industry over the next 11 years. The publication outlines the changes we believe will best help pharmaceutical companies realise the potential the future holds to enhance the value they provide to shareholders and society alike.

Click here to go to the PWC page where you can download the report (reg. required).

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The Twitter pandemic: Swine flu defines social media's new age

Trendwatch ,By Carmi Levy

Originally Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Original Post:

Analyst Opinion - If someone tweets it, is it news? Should Twitter be our first stop when we want to know what’s going on? Do we even have a choice anymore?

Over the last year or so, Twitter has emerged as an early warning system of sorts for major breaking news stories. Following the earthquake that devastated the Sichuan region of China in May, tweets from the disaster zone gave the rest of the world its first glimpse of the scope of the devastation. When US Airways Flight 1549 landed in the Hudson River in January, Twitter got the scoop on everyone else with a nowiconic picture of passengers waiting calmly for rescue on the wing of the downed plane.

As swine flu sweeps from its origins in Mexico to countless countries around the world, Twitter finds itself once more on the front lines of modern hybrid journalism. And as much as Twitterati appreciate the hair trigger ability to know what’s going on Right Now, such knowledge comes with a price.

In the land of social media, anyone can say anything. While the collective influence of the crowd tends to rein in anyone intent on posting the online equivalent of graffiti, the real-time web as exemplified by Twitter often makes this self-policing a bit of a joke. That’s because by the time the crowd has shamed the perpetrator back on the righteous path, the damage has already been done.

So as an endless barrage of tweets – from individuals, citizen journalists and major news outlets alike – raises our collective panic level around this emerging global story, we find ourselves knowing more about things sooner than ever before. But at the same time, we’re more vulnerable to misinformation. Individuals with no primary newsgathering capability of their own send out hastily worded, ill=informed messages in the hope that hyperbolic language will attract more attention. Conventional media journalists are just as guilty for using their Twitter pulpits to hawk upcoming shows and goose ratings. Like the teaser spots they play before going to commercial, they’re usually just exciting enough to get us to hang in – even if they’re misinformed and irresponsible.

Is Twitter providing a balanced public service that allows us to optimally manage our way through a potential threat to our collective health? Or is it helping some among us increase their ratings and raise their follower counts by spreading a little needless panic along the way?

No matter who you are, there’s nothing wrong with using Twitter as a tool to keep abreast of what’s going on in the world. It’s a welcome addition to the fast-evolving world of online media, and a great way to quickly plug into whatever network makes the most sense to us at any given moment. Where we begin to lose it is when we assume it’s the only thing we’ll need going forward. It isn’t. And in the absence of the context provided by using a well-chosen set of conventional and new media tools to stay up-to-date, we run a greater risk of being unable to separate fact from fiction.

Carmi Levy is a Canadian technology analyst and journalist covered with scars from his years leading IT help desks and managing software development projects for big bad insurance companies. He comments extensively in a wide range of media, and works closely with clients to help them leverage technology and social media tools and processes to drive their business.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pharma Battles for Animal Lover's Attention with Social Media Tools

Last year Pfizer Animal Health launched a widget that allows people to display their horse in a picture frame on their desktop. Users can also get their local weather, fly risk and loads of horse trivia to "make them smarter at the next horse show", according to the widget's description.

The initiative is intended to help promote Pfizer Animal Health's "feed-through fly control" product Solitude IGR™. Since launch the widget has been downloaded over 5,000 times. 20 users have collectively given the widget 4 out of 5 stars – and comments tend to be generally positive. That said, there is one BIG catch. The widget requires that you have Yahoo! Widgets already installed on your computer. Of course, if you don’t have it, you can install it – but do we really need another application?

My personal opinion: doesn’t it make more sense to launch this type of "widget" on a social media platform like facebook? For example, Merck/Merial’s “Healthy Pet Center” facebook application lets you do pretty much the same thing as Pfizer’s widget, except it’s not just for horses and you can share it with your facebook friends with one click.

The application is also linked to a facebook page where you can get more information on the "Pet Health Manual", the best-selling consumer book which this application is promoting. In addition, people can submit videos as well as view other people's photo-frames. Personally, I believe this approach makes more sense. But then again, I might be biased since we worked on this project ;) You decide for yourself.

Pfizer’s Frame-Your-Horse Widget
Merck/Merial's "Healthy Pet Center" facebook Application

Also reachable via re-direct URL:

Which approach do you feel makes more sense? Click here to vote:

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WSJ Updates Rules of Engagement to Include SocNets


This week, staff members at the Wall Street Journal were given a fresh list of rules outlining "professional conduct." The updated list includes a guide to using online outlets appropriately. Of especial note were activities that occur on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

"Openly 'friending' sources is akin to publicly publishing your Rolodex," the rules somberly proclaim, admonishing journalists to "Let our coverage speak for itself, and don't detail how an article was reported, written or edited."

Apropos to Twitter, the rules state, "Business and pleasure should not be mixed on services like Twitter. Common sense should prevail, but if you are in doubt about the appropriateness of a Tweet or posting, discuss it with your editor before sending."

The rules for online engagement is listed below. Editor & Publisher has the Wall Street Journal's guidelines for professional conduct in its entirety.

Online Activities

The use of social and business networking sites by reporters and editors of the Journal, Newswires and MarketWatch is becoming more commonplace. These ground rules should guide all news employees' actions online, whether on Dow Jones sites or in social-networking, e-mail, personal blogs, or other sites outside Dow Jones.

* Never misrepresent yourself using a false name when you're acting on behalf of your Dow Jones publication or service. When soliciting information from readers and interview subjects you must identify yourself as a reporter for the Journal, Newswires or MarketWatch and be tonally neutral in your questions.
* Base all comments posted in your role as a Dow Jones employee in the facts, drawing from and citing your reporting when appropriate. Sharing your personal opinions, as well as expressing partisan political views, whether on Dow Jones sites or on the larger Web, could open us to criticism that we have biases and could make a reporter ineligible to cover topics in the future for Dow Jones.
* Don't recruit friends or family to promote or defend your work.
* Consult your editor before "connecting" to or "friending" any reporting contacts who may need to be treated as confidential sources. Openly "friending" sources is akin to publicly publishing your Rolodex.
* Let our coverage speak for itself, and don't detail how an article was reported, written or edited.
* Don't discuss articles that haven't been published, meetings you've attended or plan to attend with staff or sources, or interviews that you've conducted.
* Don't disparage the work of colleagues or competitors or aggressively promote your coverage.
* Don't engage in any impolite dialogue with those who may challenge your work — no matter how rude or provocative they may seem.
* Avoid giving highly-tailored, specific advice to any individual on Dow Jones sites. Phrases such as "Travel agents are saying the best deals are X and Y…" are acceptable while counseling a reader "You should choose X…" is not. Giving generalized advice is the best approach.
* All postings on Dow Jones sites that may be controversial or that deal with sensitive subjects need to be cleared with your editor before posting.
* Business and pleasure should not be mixed on services like Twitter. Common sense should prevail, but if you are in doubt about the appropriateness of a Tweet or posting, discuss it with your editor before sending.

The Wall Street Journal's decision to incorporate social networking engagement into its online conduct guidelines represent social networks' increasing incorporation into corporate culture — even despite the disinclination of employers. Late last year, the Senate Rules and Administration Committee was driven to update existing limitations on sites that Senators are allowed to link from their official pages. Whence they couldn't before, Senators can now incorporate Facebook and YouTube pages into their official resources listings.

The Air Force also published a flow chart specifically intended to help its public affairs agents address consumers on "emerging technology" — including blogs, social networks and yes, Twitter.

The flow chart went into detail about the transparency, appropriate tone, timeliness and even the definition of online "trolls."

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"I Walk Because", MS "Social" Campaign from Acorda Therapeutics

Not much has been written about this initiative from Acorda Therapeutics, but I think it's well-done and has a "social" element that plays well both offline and online. This site's interface is slick, interactive, and fresh. While the content on the site is not that deep - especially the consumer-generated components, it holds great promise.

Check it out at:

The following is from the site's "ABOUT US" section:

"Our goal is to create a place where people can share the power of the walk MS experience with others. While I Walk Because(tm) documents Walk MS events, it also celebrates the spirit of walking and movement in general. Acorda Therapeutics(r) has created this website as part of our strong commitment to people with MS and the broader community. I Walk Because(tm) is not administered by the National Multiple SclerosisSociety. About Walks: Join the movement and help thousands of people with MS. Walking makes a powerful statement and keeps us all moving toward a cure. To find out how to register, walk, and help people affected by MS, visit About Acorda: Acorda Therapeutics(r) is dedicated to developing therapies to restore neurological function in people with MS. For people with MS, there are no drugs approved that improve walking ability. Acorda is working to change that. To learn more about Acorda's clinical development programs in MS, please visit

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Local Marketing Event to Tackle "Social Media" Marketing Controversy in the Pharmaceutical Industry

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 05/08/09 -- The Philadelphia Chapter of the American Marketing Association (PAMA) will hold a panel discussion with marketing and pharmaceutical industry experts titled "Pharmaceutical Marketing Within Today's Social Media Culture -- Opportunity or Nightmare?" at Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, on Wednesday, May 20th, from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM. The event, open to both PAMA members and non-members, is organized by PAMA's Pharmaceutical-Biotechnology Special Interest Group (Pharma SIG), which was created to establish and serve marketing professionals within the region's top industry.

Featuring panelists from the pharmaceutical industry, the media, academia, and interactive marketing firms, the discussion will explore the controversy surrounding adoption of social media tools such as blogs, wikis, social networks and user-generated video as a means to increase consumer access and interaction among peer groups. The marketing and legal obstacles to social media's adoption in the life sciences will also be considered.

The panel of experts includes:

-- Dr. Thanigavelan Jambulingam, Chair and Associate Professor,
Department of Pharmaceutical Marketing, St. Joseph's University
-- John Mack, Editor and Publisher, Pharma Marketing News / Pharma
Marketing Blog
-- Nancy Phelan, Executive Director, Consumer Communications and
e-Marketing, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
-- Stephen Williams, Managing Director, Client Services, All Web Cafe
-- Barry Winn, Director Client Services & Interactive Marketing, The Hal
Lewis Group, Inc.
-- Stephen Wray, President and CEO, Cadient Group

The panel moderator is Dr. Vipul Gupta, Associate Professor, Department of Management and Information Systems, St. Joseph's University. The cost to attend is $30 for AMA members and $40 for non-members. For more information, visit:

Program Details:

When: Wednesday, May 20th, 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Agenda: 6:00 - 6:30 Registration and Networking 6:30 - 7:00 Pharma / Biotech SIG Introductions 7:00 - 8:30 Panel Discussion with Q&A

Where: The Campus of Saint Joseph's University Mandeville Hall Teletorium 5600 City Avenue Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19131-1395 Phone: (215) 477-1667 Email: Cost: $30 AMA members / $40 non-AMA members*

About PAMA:

Established in 1931, the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Marketing Association (PAMA) was one of the first of 100 chapters affiliated with the American Marketing Association. Six PAMA members have served as president for the parent organization, and membership has steadily grown to more than 750. PAMA is committed to bringing members together with key thought leaders in various marketing disciplines and across industries. For more information and details about becoming a member, visit

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Social Media Apps Meet Widgets

Source: MarketingSherpa


Widgets can be great for marketing, but the format can be limiting. Widgets have to be simple to use and easy to distribute -- which usually means a short list of features. Applications on social media sites, however, often enjoy a more robust set of features and reporting capabilities. Is there a way to get the best of both worlds?

Find out how a widget network is reaching deeper into the popular social networks MySpace and Facebook. The platform is giving advertisers the full power of an application with the wide distribution of a widget.

Marketers of all stripes are finding ways to use widgets. The digital mini-apps have been created to syndicate content to readers, to promote products to consumers, and to organize marketing teams internally.

For marketing and promotion, widgets have proven to be an effective method for reaching and engaging consumers in a number of places. A widget can be placed on a website, blog, social network profile page, and even an off-line desktop. Once consumers find a widget, they can generally click to add it to the destination of their choosing, such as their MySpace page or blog.
Hooman Radfar, CEO and Co-Founder, Clearspring, specializes in ensuring that widgets can be used across a large number of online destinations. The Clearspring widget network can allow a widget to run across 80 social sites, Radfar says.

Enabling a widget to be used in so many places has several benefits. First, it broadens the number of places where a user can find and engage with a widget. Second, it allows users to place widgets at a preferred location -- or at several. That broad reach helps improve the ability of a widget to spread virally.

Social Media Applications

Applications, or mini-computer programs, that are specifically designed for social sites such as MySpace and Facebook can be very similar to widgets. Users can add and remove them from their social profiles at will. And they give the owner the ability to syndicate content and monitor interaction.

However, there are significant differences between the two. First, social network apps are network-specific -- they can only be used on the network for which they were designed. This network-specificity allows an application to more deeply integrate into the core functions of a social network. For example, a Facebook app might be able to leverage a person’s News Feed to let their friends know that they’re interacting with the app.

Adding Apps to a Widget Network

Clearspring recently launched ConnectAds in hopes of combining the deeper functionality of social network applications, and the broader reach of Clearspring’s widget network. The program allows advertisers to use a single widget to run across Clearspring’s network, and allows that widget to access the deeper functionality of a social network-specific application.
“What we found when we were doing strictly widget campaigns is that we would create a one-off application, and then we’d just have an application and we’d bundle it with the widget. Now, with this program, it’s together… It’s run as one campaign.”

“It’s a much deeper integration with MySpace. It’s a much deeper integration with Facebook. It’s an actual full application experience,” says Radfar. “We’re focusing today on MySpace and Facebook because we have heavy advertiser interest, but as we mature the program, see what advertisers want, we’re going to expand other places."

Movie Promotion Example

Radfar says that ConnectAds will most likely appeal to entertainment industries such as television and film, and consumer product and automobile companies. He provided an example of how a movie launch campaign can leverage the extra functionality.

Film promoters can provide Clearspring with movie trailers and say they want a promotional widget that works as a game. Once created, the widget can update users’ social network profiles to let their friends know when they’re playing the game and how many points they are capturing. The widget can also show which of the user’s friends are currently playing the game -- or how many points they’ve gained. When first adding the widget to a page, it can also ask “Would you like to ask your friends to join?” and message their friends through the network.

“Are you going to get more interaction or more participation from that user and their friends if you install a badge on their profile, or if you install an application which is literally going to send all their friends messages? By definition, you should get more engagement because it will send messages to other people,” Radfar says.

Measuring and Metrics

In the coming months, Clearspring hopes to offer advertisers the ability to monitor the performance of their widgets through metrics that are segmented by demographic information, Radfar says.

Currently, a good way to test a widget’s effectiveness on Clearspring, Radfar says, is to measure the CPM of your other online advertising and the rate at which they capture strong engagement. Then, compare those results to the CPM and engagement rate of the widget. Although social applications might have fewer impressions, they’re much more likely to be interactive, he says.
Hooman Radfar spoke at ad:tech San Francisco 2009.

Useful links related to this article:
ad:tech: The Event for Digital Marketing

- How to Build Your User Base Social Network Applications
- 8 Tips to Add a Facebook App & Attract Millions of New Users
- Special Report: Marketing with Widgets
Clearspring: ConnectedAds Release


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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Top-Clicked Tweet of the Day

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Twitter and Health 2.0

While somewhat dated (Feb 2009), and perhaps already widely-popular ... I still find this company and their animations to be among the best out there (aside from CommonCraft's "In Plain English" series), especially when it comes to explaining concepts like social media. And obviously, I particularly like the Twitter/Health 2.0 animation I have embedded below. Check out the rest of their work at

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Selling Social Media Isn't Hard; Implementing It Is

You Can't Understand It Without Experiencing It Firsthand

Posted by Phil Johnson on 05.11.09
Original Post: Ad Age

The biggest news for agencies about social media is that clients are starting to buy. If you thought selling social media was hard, wait until you start to deliver it. In the past three months, we've seen a handful of clients commit hard dollars, and after a couple of years of talking theoretically, we're discovering that implementation has its own challenges. I've been reminded several times in my career that a passion for craftsmanship makes great agencies. Social media requires no less craft than creating an effective print piece or website. Something as simple as creating a corporate Facebook page comes with its own set of complexities and requires an understanding of the platform and its capabilities. Who in your agency has those skills?

I bet that our social-media trajectory is not that different from those of a lot of agencies with roots in traditional and interactive advertising. We're likely to have a very different perspective than a pure social-media play like The Advance Guard. Most of us have invested in production systems and processes to produce digital advertising, websites, print and video. Don't expect social media to plug and play neatly into those models. On the other hand, don't dismiss the ability of smart agencies to implement social-media strategies.

This has been a watershed year when it comes to corporate enthusiasm for social media. Two years ago, we first started making presentations to our clients. There was polite interest and a lot of resistance for reasons of privacy and control. A lot of people just didn't believe it was relevant to their customers, or they couldn't see a clear link to their existing sales process.

That changed big time six months ago. With major brands increasing their presence, and with the surge of interest in Twitter, more clients began to call and ask us to come in and talk to them about specific social-media initiatives. From my own experience, I became convinced that, unlike every other form of marketing, it was impossible to understand social media if you didn't experience it firsthand. You need a guide who has explored the territory. You don't want one who has just read the travel book or seen the slide show.

I decided that the best way to engage our clients was to make our own agency a proof of concept. While a bunch of us were enthusiasts who dabbled with various technologies, we got serious and developed a company-wide strategy that now includes four different blogs, a commitment to Twitter, a company Facebook page, the development of agency channels on YouTube and Flickr, and a PJA LinkedIn group. A small team led this effort, including our VP of business development, a digital art director, our digital director and myself. This approach helped us to distribute knowledge throughout the agency and forced us to understand the challenges of implementation. To give one example, we discovered it was hard to create consistentusernames and URLs across all of these channels. That taught us about some of the small branding issues our clients would face.

We're hardly trailblazers. There are some fantastic and innovative case studies in the market, but now we're in a position to give clients a real-time social-media experience in a context that they can relate to. A lot of people still look to newspapers and magazines to learn about social media, when everything they need to know can be experienced firsthand on Twitter, the social-media gateway drug. When we sit down with people now, we spend less time presenting and more time exploring how they can make their brand interesting by searching for relevant conversation threads on Twitter. Often, the first time they see people talking about their company in 140 characters or less, the light comes on.

The biggest challenge that I see is getting people who have practiced traditional marketing for their entire careers to adopt a new set of values. The first ins tinct is to treat any form of social media as a channel that you use to drive a corporate message. It's relatively easy to grasp the tools but more challenging to understand how new technologies have changed communication behaviors and patterns. You're essentially asking people to stop pushing a highly packaged image of their brand and begin to talk with people in communities and social networks. It's the difference between buying your way into a new culture as a tourist and earning your way in as a participating citizen. Like traveling in a foreign country, you get high marks for trying to speak the language, no matter how badly.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

The Nielsen Company Launches First-Ever CLIO Healthcare Awards Acknowledging Creative Excellence in Healthcare Communications

Leaders and Pioneers to Serve as Founding Advisory Board Members and Judges

Las Vegas and New York, May 12, 2009 – The Nielsen Company, a leading global information and media company and the CLIO Awards, one of the world’s most recognized international advertising and design competitions, today announced the launch of the CLIO Healthcare Awards to honor creative excellence and innovation in communications in the healthcare industry. The new awards were launched this week at the 50th Anniversary CLIO Awards here in Las Vegas. Categories and entry details are available online at Awards will be handed out in New York City at a ceremony in October 2009.

“Healthcare accounts for more than one-third of our nation’s gross national product and has become one of the most visible sectors of advertising, promotion and creative design in the last few years, particularly on TV and online” said Karl Vontz, Director of Events, Marketing, Media & Visual Arts Group, The Nielson Company. “We felt it was the right time to create a separate CLIO Awards to acknowledge and account for the fact that healthcare advertising and communications has become critical to the health and well being of the nation and is regulated differently and more stringently than traditional advertising and promotion. The CLIO Healthcare Awards will be executed using the same rigorous standards and commitment to excellence, but levels the playing field to qualify and judge this particular and massive industry sector more fairly and appropriately.”

The CLIO Healthcare Awards will be established and judged by some of the most innovative, creative and strategic individuals in the healthcare advertising, marketing, design and communications fields. Members of the inaugural Advisory Board are:

  • Rob Buccino, President: Neocortex, New York
  • Martha Crane, EVP, Executive Creative Dir.: Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare, New York
  • Fabio Gratton, Chief Innovation Officer: Ignite Health, Irvine, CA
  • Forrest King, Managing Partner, Creative Dir.: JUICE Pharma Advertising, New York
  • Patricia Malone, Principal, Creative Dir.: Strategem Healthcare, San Francisco
  • Stephen Neale, Sr. VP and Exec. Creative Dir.: Abelson Taylor, Chicago
  • Jane Pritchard, Creative Director: Anderson DDB, Toronto, ON
  • Rob Rogers, Co-CEO, Americas: Sudler & Hennessey, New York
  • Bruce Rooke, Chief Creative Officer: GSW Worldwide, Westerville, OH
  • Greg Sampson, Principal, Creative Services: Sampson & Company, Ville Grande, CA
  • Michael Schreiber, Managing Partner, Creative Dir.: AgencyRx, New York
  • Jim Weiss, Chairman & CEO: WeissComm Group, San Francisco

For more information about the CLIO Healthcare Awards, go to

About The CLIO Awards
The CLIO Awards is one of the world’s most recognized awards competition for advertising, design and interactive. Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2009, the CLIO Awards has maintained its original commitment to celebrate and reward creative excellence, honoring a powerful form of communication and its impact on modern culture. At the same time, the CLIO Awards remains focused on evolving with the industry in order to acknowledge the most current, breakthrough work. To this day, CLIO’s iconic statue is the most widely recognized and coveted symbol of the industry’s creative accomplishments. The CLIO Awards are produced by Nielsen Business Media, a part of The Nielsen Company, a global information and media company.

About The Nielsen Company
The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA. For more information, please visit
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New medical journal from written by patients, not doctors

Source: ePharm5 has launched a quarterly online medical journal that's written and reviewed by patients with the condition, rather than medical professionals. According to the site, unlike most online community resources, the journal articles are edited for clarity and reviewed for medical accuracy.

The journal content is reviewed for relevance by an editorial board of peers who have perspective on living with epilepsy. Additional medical comments are provided by the medical staff of

The first issue of Epilepsy: Insights & Strategies includes articles about having epilepsy surgery, strategies for coping with seizures, having more productive epilepsy clinic visits, and recent changes in the Americans with Disabilities Act. is supported by several major pharma companies, including Abbott and GlaxoSmithKline.

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AHF Goes Viral with Safer-Sex, AIDS Advocacy Videos-Reaches 9 Million Viewers


Nonprofit Group’s Latest Viral Video—“Sex Network”—Promotes HIV Testing, Directs Public to Visit to Find Out About Where to Get Tested

AHF’s Recent Successful Online Advocacy Includes Campaigns with Messaging Aimed at President Obama, Governor Schwarzenegger and Drug Giant Abbott Labs’ CEO.

To complement its traditional media strategy AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the US’ largest nonprofit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider, has recently gone viral, reaching millions of online users with its innovative HIV/AIDS advocacy and prevention campaigns distributed on the internet. Utilizing video and text created in-house or by contracted agencies, AHF’s most recent viral campaigns have achieved impressive results, reaching nearly nine million viewers and driving millions of visitors to its website:

The organization’s most recent effort includes an original viral video public service announcement promoting HIV-testing entitled “Sex Network.” The video depicts a fictional scenario in which a young man in his twenties, Guy, is sitting alone in his living-room and is suddenly asked by an unseen announcer voice: “Have you been tested for HIV?” He denies needing to be tested saying, “I have nothing to worry about. I’ve only slept with 3 people.” Suddenly, his 3 ex-girlfriends appear in his living-room. “But I’ve slept with 5 people,” says one. And 5 more people suddenly appear. “And I’ve slept with 9,” says another. And those 9 people pop into the picture. This continues until Guy’s living room is filled with people of all stripes confessing how many partners they have had. Finally, alarmed, Guy turns to the camera and asks, “Now what do I do?” The unseen voice answers with the following words, which also appear on the screen: “Get tested now. Go to” The video can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here.

AHF has also distributed a humorous and informative animated educational video called “How to Use a Condom” that directs viewers to its website This public service announcement can be viewed by clicking here. These two campaigns combined have already reached a total of 2,747,996 online viewers.

“In the field of HIV prevention, creating innovative messages to promote safer sex, HIV testing and condom-use is of critical importance in helping to reach a sometimes complacent audience,” said Whitney Engeran-Cordova, Director of Public Health Division for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “It is our hope that the imaginative content of our viral videos such as ‘Sex Network’ and ‘How to Use a Condom’ engages the online public with a laugh and good information, inspiring individuals to actively participate in protecting their own health and that of their partners by getting tested for HIV and consistently using condoms. Moving into new media and increasing AHF’s online outreach is especially important to reaching a younger audience—a segment of the population in which rates of HIV and STDs are on the rise nationwide.”

In addition to HIV/AIDS social marketing campaigns, AHF has also effectively utilized the internet to mobilize supporters to participate in crucial HIV/AIDS advocacy campaigns at the state and federal levels. An AHF video, created by its in-house marketing and communications team, recently challenged President Obama’s silence on AIDS during his first 100 days in office. The 60-second ad contains a brief history of the first 28 years of the epidemic highlighting presidential responses to HIV/AIDS and implores President Obama to be “the change we can believe in on AIDS.” In addition to appearing on select television stations in New York and Washington D.C., the ad was distributed virally generating 2,128,810 unique page visitors to AHF’s website and more than 2,000 e-letters to President Obama. The complete ad may be viewed here.

In March of this year, an AHF e-campaign succeeded in preserving “Positive Healthcare”—an HIV/AIDS health care program operated by AHF serving indigent Californians living with HIV/AIDS—by helping to generate 5,000 letters to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger urging him to “have a heart” and save the 15-year-old program. AHF created a 60-second video parody of Governor Schwarzenegger that was pushed out virally generating 6 million impressions and aired as a paid TV commercial on select television stations in Sacramento and Los Angeles prompting nearly 1.5 million people to view the multi-media webpage. The video can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here.

“As the coverage by and reach of so-called ‘traditional’ media—particularly TV and print—continues to dwindle, it has become an urgent priority for AHF to adapt its public health and advocacy messages to new media in order to reach people where they live, work, shop and gather news and information now—which is increasingly on the internet,” said Michael Weinstein, “Nonprofit public service organizations must continue to evolve and innovate if we want our important messages to be heard by the public as well as in the halls of power. AHF is pleased to share our recent success in reaching new audiences and looks forward to continuing to grow our presence on the web as we seek to ensure maximum reach and impact of our urgent advocacy and safer-sex messages.”

One of the first examples of AHF adapting to new media and internet video opportunities came in January of this year when AHF produced a humorous 60 second commercial focusing on Miles White, CEO of Abbott Laboratories, over the steep prices the Chicago-based drug giant charges for its lifesaving AIDS drugs in poor countries around the globe. The spot aired on select cable television stations in the Chicago area. However, the serious, yet whimsical spot, which featured a still photo of Mr. White that AHF had edited by animating his lips in order to appear that White was narrating the spot, found far greater resonance—and a far wider audience—at home on YouTube driving hundreds of thousands of viewers to AHF’s website to learn more about the drug pricing issue. The “Miles White Parody” can be seen here.

In addition to producing and distributing video content, AHF has also created issue-specific “micro-sites” to allow users easy, convenient access to the information they are seeking. Driving traffic to these sites— and --continues to be a major goal of the organization, which also utilizes social networking to support its advocacy and outreach campaigns. AHF actively engages supporters and stakeholders by providing interactive content on the following sites: YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Bebo, Google,, Technorati and LiveJournal.

To view the “Sex Network” video, as well as other HIV/AIDS prevention and advocacy-related video content generated by AHF, please visit the organization’s website at or its YouTube page at

# # #

About AHF
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the nation’s largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 100,000 individuals in 21 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia.

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FOX NEWS VIDEO: Are You a Cybercondriac?

160 million people searched the web for health information last year. But is having more knowledge better for your health?

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Ad Age: "Big Pharma Finally Taking Big Steps to Reach Patients With Digital Media"

Highly Regulated Industry Slowly Mobilizes With Blogs, Twitter, YouTube

NEW YORK ( -- Big Pharma is lumbering into the digital realm, using a growing chunk of its $4.7 billion DTC dollars to reach patients and prescribers on blogs, Twitter and YouTube.

What might be considered a yawn-worthy move into new and social media is nothing short of a revolution for the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry, and the mobilization is happening everywhere: Johnson & Johnson keeps a respected and popular blog; Novartis, Boehringer Ingelheim and AstraZeneca all use Twitter to deliver news about their respective companies; and most recently, Sanofi-Aventis and AstraZeneca each launched branded YouTube channels to reach certain patient groups.

Dos and don'ts for pharma online
  • DO understand the patient is a real person, not a number -- and that you're not just marketing to their disease; you're marketing to their lifestyle.
  • DO use Facebook, Twitter and other social media to your advantage and build a dialogue with consumers.
  • DO reach out in sincere ways. Developing a community where patients can share their experiences, for example, can build trust in and goodwill for the brand.
  • DON'T shy away from emerging media. Specialized drugs that come on the market will be able to thrive online particularly, where they will find an audience hungry for informatio
  • DON'T ignore the patient's family and friends; they are impacted by the patient's disease, too.
  • DON'T think like a traditional drug marketer. Think like a drug educator, where the digital space permits patients to conduct unlimited research.
  • In all, pharmaceutical companies boosted their measured spending on internet media 36% to $137 million in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence, while at the same time their overall outlays fell 10.6% to $4.7 billion. Meanwhile, the industry's spending on TV, once its de facto media choice, dropped 4.3% to $2.9 billion from $3 billion. Though spending on TV still dwarfs that for internet (in part due to the fact that it's much less expensive), all signs point to a digital future for pharma.

    "Digital [marketing] seems to be becoming much more a central part of the overall strategy," said Mary Ann Belliveau, Google's managing director of Health Vertical, who said she has noticed an increase in the digital space in the second half of 2008.

    Why they were cautious
    Still, consumers have been using social media for years, so why the delay for pharmaceutical companies? "They're late to the game because no one wants to get a warning letter," said Mark Senak, senior VP at Fleishman Hillard and author of the blog, Eye on FDA. Last month, in fact, the FDA issued pre-emptive untitled letters to nearly every major player in the industry to stop them from placing misleading ads on search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

    The letters sent in April underscore the fact that there are no published guidelines for online pharmaceutical advertising put forth by the Food and Drug Administration or the Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications. What exist are general regulations that apply across platforms for advertising to be "accurate, nonmisleading, and present a fair balance of risk and benefit information about the drug," said the FDA.

    "People are still figuring out how we employ new media, which is such a completely new paradigm," Mr. Senak said. "What [pharmaceutical companies] are doing now is experimenting."

    To further illustrate the complexities of a digital world without clear DTC guidelines, it took AstraZeneca more than eight months of meetings with a team of 15 to 20 company experts from the regulatory, legal, compliance, corporate, and brand management departments before it put up a YouTube channel for its asthma drug Symbicort. "The social-media space is very much a gray area," said Dana Settembrino, senior brand communications manager for the drug. "In that sense it makes it challenging."

    On the channel, AstraZeneca invites asthma sufferers to submit videos about their positive experiences with Symbicort and essentially create their own advertisements for the drug. In the three months since the site has been live, AstraZeneca has received a handful of submissions and over 53,000 page views -- perhaps a paltry number for YouTube, but it's the first such initiative for Big Pharma.

    To the YouTubes
    Digitas Health and Cadient Group were instrumental in coordinating the effort, said Ms. Settembrino. AstraZeneca initially tested the waters on YouTube last summer to defend Prilosec and Nexium, two drugs that had been criticized for their safety in the June 2008 edition of Men's Health. In that nearly five-minute video, Astra-Zeneca's executive director of clinical development spoke directly to the camera about the drug's proven safety record as supported by the FDA. "AZ has really tried to take the lead through the YouTube channel," Ms. Settembrino said. "[It is] a priority to better understand how we can engage patients in this space and lead the industry."

    She said that as consumers have shifted media consumption online, the company realized its promotional outreach needed to change. "Having a presence in this space allows us to reach these patients and provide education in the format that they're looking for," Ms. Settembrino said. "We need to change with them."

    Jim Joseph, managing director at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, said that many of his pharmaceutical clients are eager to get online even if they know it requires a leap of faith. For example, the return on investment can be difficult to determine from the outset.

    Mr. Joseph said an integrated TV and web campaign he developed for Sanofi-Aventis' sleep drug Ambien CR -- in which 15-second TV teasers directed viewers to an unbranded microsite ( with games and social-media elements -- succeeded beyond his agency's expectations. In the first three days the site attracted 1 million hits and a 2% clickthrough rate to the branded site, Saatchi & Saatchi had anticipated only 250,000 hits in the first week and a 0.5% click-through rate.)

    "We're seeing our clients more and more receptive to us saying let's come up with an integrated program with digital components," he said. "And in some cases, clients are asking us."

    Joining communities
    The agency is also using the web to establish a dialogue with multiple sclerosis sufferers for a drug that won't even be available until next year. Saatchi is working with Acorda Therapeutics on a drug that improves walking mobility for patients with the disease, and last year it tested the waters with a user-generated unbranded community site,, and then ramped it up this year. Mr. Joseph estimates that there are only 300,000 people who suffer from MS in the U.S., and that it is a small community that searches "ferociously" for information online.

    "They're constantly looking for more information to help them cope with the disease," he said, adding that friends and relatives of people with MS are active, too. In fact, many raise awareness and funds to treat MS in community walks, called Walk MS, across the country coordinated by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Saatchi's website enables walk participants to upload videos and photos from the walks, and share reasons for walking. "Rather than advertise to these people," Mr. Joseph said. "We opted to join the community."

    When it comes to internet marketing, "You have to think differently about your activities. You have to engage them, you have to partner with them on their agenda," said Dorothy Wetzel, the former consumer marketing chief at Pfizer who is the co-founder of Extrovertic, an independent healthcare marketing shop. "You have to develop talk-worthy programs, think about customer experience as the new way to use acquisition, and create a digital megaphone."

    Loreen Babcock, CEO of Omnicom Group's Unit 7, a relationship- marketing agency, said the pharmaceutical industry not only needs to embrace new media and social networking because of their relevance, but also as a chance to rebuild trust between consumers and an industry that quite often ranks with oil companies and big tobacco on the popularity scale.

    "Look, there's probably not an industry that could use and embrace the transparency and authenticity of social media right now more than pharmaceuticals," Ms. Babcock said.

    GSK ahead of the rest on web

    The true forerunner of digital pharmaceutical marketing might just be GlaxoSmithKline.

    Restless Legs
    In late 2006, the company introduced a popular video on YouTube for Restless Legs Syndrome. The unbranded, 103-second video shows a young man who sets up an elaborate domino run in his home using everyday products -- books, CDs, bars of soap, cereal boxes, waffles, you name it -- to highlight the fact that his father has Restless Legs Syndrome. The domino run begins with the sleeping father's restless legs kicking a book off the bed to trigger the dominoes, and ends with a TV being flicked on that shows a spot that reads, "My dad is one of a million people in the U.K. who have Restless Legs Syndrome."

    The video, which is still up today although the drug has since faded out to due to generic availability, has drawn more than 236,000 views on YouTube. It made a splash in the industry, leading GSK to open its own YouTube channel, GSKvision in August 2008. That branded channel has gone on to attract nearly 9,000 channel views to date.

    -- Rich Thomaselli

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