It’s been predicted for a while (mainly by Richard Meyer at World of DTC Marketing), but the numbers are finally showing up to fulfill the prophecies: The money that drug companies are putting behind consumer marketing — particularly on TV — is about to go into decline.
Spending grew at 14% two years ago, but is likely to be flat this year, according to a report in Brandweek by yours truly.
To blame: the FDA and lack of pipeline refreshment. (And, to a lesser extent but nonetheless worrying, lack of new scrips brought on by patients without insurance who can no longer get them.)
Most likely to suffer will be TV spending. Money is still pouring into the internet and CRM compliance programs, but those are less visible than the big campaigns we’ve seen since the late 1990s.
For consumers, the mental environment is going to change. The days when primetime was filled with drug ads are going to fade from memory, like so many Pepsi Challenge taste tests.