NONE: Re: ONLINE-ADS>> Web AND Mass Media Synergy
Re: ONLINE-ADS>> Web AND Mass Media Synergy
John Mack (johnmack_at_virsci.com)
Wed, 08 Oct 1997 18:09:03 -0400
Kevin Leathers wrote:
>> ... recent FDA rulings
>> have increased the likelihood that pharmaceutical companies will link
>> TV ads with more information on web sites.....The deal is this:
>> Pharmcos can say
>> what their products are used for in a TV ad IF they also say that
>> should go to the web (and other sources) for more information.
>As much as I would support this, I do not see how having information on
>a web site would appease the FDA. Truth of the matter is that the
>majority of the population is still not on the internet (yet), and the
>information that the FDA is most concerned about is the page of
>disclaimer information that typically has to accompany a drug ad. Now I
>have noticed that some companies are stating "Ask your Doctor or visit
>our web site". This may work, because the doctor would still be required
>to distribute the information before writing a prescription and the
>patient would have the opportunity to review the product information
>prior to the office visit and would be able to ask any questions. Maybe
>having a toll free number to request info., as well as web based info.
>would help (I assume this is what you mean by other sources).
The FDA would not be *appeased* one way or the other. The mere fact that
they included the web as a VALID means for the pharmcos to distribute this
sort of information is a GIANT step in legitimizing the web for use by
pharmcos even BEYOND the legal pkg insert information.
The point is that there is only so much information that can be delivered
in 60 seconds on TV and the web can greatly add to the amount of
promotional material pharmcos can DIRECTLY deliver to patients. The goal,
to some degree, is to BYPASS the doctor completely and leverage this direct
relationship with the consumer to induce the doctor to presecribe their
>> These web sites will be looking for content and for
>> advertising. Does this portend a greater need for "beyond the banner"
>I think a clarification on what is content and what is not content may
>be needed. In my own opinion, I view information that promotes a
>specific product or service content only when supplied by a non biased
>third party and possibly mixed with information on other alternatives,
>giving the reader the opportunity to form their own opinion. As much as
>I agree that a product marketing site should supply as much information
>as possible to help promote their products, I don't think you can view
>it the same way.
An advertiser often works with a content developer to sponsor independent
content. In the case of pharmcos, they can do this via educational grants.
The content developer has complete control, but gets paid by the sponsor.
Another model is for pharmcos to seek sites that have large numbers of
eyeballs and place ads, legal text, and promotional material on that site
linked to the independent content. This is like using Readers Digest, but
there is much more opportunity to reach people at a lower cost on the web.
Services like AOL has millions of readers and can direct ads to specific
demographics allowing for a surgical ad strike so to speak.
>> For example, XBC news is sponsored by an ad from pharmco X. In the ad
>> can say go to XBNews.com for more information. XBNews.com contracts
>> the advertiser to host that information and also to provide additional
>> related content in its health area. Pharmco X then sees more merit in
>> placing banners in the health areas of XBCNews.com and its affiliate
>> sites, which also gets the health news feed.
>I'm not sure I understand this one. Does it mean that the consumer
>should go to a site sponsored by the company instead of the companies
>own web site? And if so, how long should the consumer spend looking for
>one of their banners to click on?
How long do they look in Readers Digest for the ad? There's no difference
appropriate viewer comes to the site or the ad can pop up during a search,
whatever. Getting the information in front of the viewer should be much
easier online than in print, where they can only say see our ad in Readers
Does this limit the Pharmco from doing
>business with other related web sites. I think the Pharmco should
>promote their own web site for product liability and promotional info.,
>and should promote sites that they sponsor as resources for their
I agree with that, but I think there is too much effort spent on getting
people to visit the company's site. Like does Time magazine only want
people to come to the Time Life building in NY to get their magazine at the
approved magazine stand in their building?
>> Is there a logical extension of this scenario? What about WebTV? I'd
>> to hear what other people envision as the possible ways in which big
>> will link content and advertising this way. What will it mean for web
>> advertising in general?
>Web TV as far as I know is nothing more than substituting the Digital
>Monitor with a TV set (actually a step backward to the days of Atari
>Computers). I know they have announced a number of advancements, but I
>have yet to hear how you can use the TV and internet at the same time
>and how you can interact with a TV ad to bring up a screen of text on
>command. I do however see it in the future, and when that is possible
>there will be some real value in having this info. available (could be
>used to see the fine print in an auto ad also).
I've heard that there will be developments precisely to integrate web
content with TV content on this and other boxes.
>As for your site, John, it is a very good resource. I could see how drug
>info. could be considered content on your site, but only if it is
>universal or offers the public info. on competing brands.
All the info on our site IS content by your definition -- completely
nonpromotional and developed independently of any sponsor with an editorial
board and even peer review in many cases. We have plenty of information on
competing brands all mixed together. I think this is a reason why we may
not have gotten as much advertising from Pharmcos as we would have liked ;-(
John Mack johnmack_at_virsci.com
215-949-3805 or 215-504-4164 FAX: 215-949-2594
President, VirSci Corporation www.virsci.com
President, Internet Healthcare Coalition www.ihc.net
Owner/Developer of PharmInfoNet (http://pharminfo.com/)
2761 Trenton Road, Levittown, PA 19056 USA
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