Marketing by pharmaceutical companies dropped significantly in the first half of 2009. TNS Media Intelligence reports the overall drop was 7.8% 1111309_pillswhile Nielsen says the drop was as much as 11.3% compared to the same period last year. This follows a 9% drop from $4.8 billion in 2007 to $4.4 billion in 2008. Drilling down to the supporting numbers reveals that some media forms have been doing better than others when it comes to attracting advertising from this industry.

  • Internet  +205%
  • Radio +83%
  • TV advertising  (-6%)
  • Magazines (-20%)
  • Newspaper  (-33%)

The shift to Internet advertising supports an August 2009 Medical Marketing & Media report that more pharmaceutical firms will be increasing their online marketing efforts because so many consumers are now researching health issues on the Internet. And the news may not be all bad for media firms hoping to grab business from pharma companies. Jon Swallen, SVP Research at TNS Media Intelligence notes, “Early data from the third quarter hint at possible improvements for some media due to easy comparisons against distressed levels of year ago expenditures.”

[Sources: Arnold, Matthew. Rx ad spend down 7.8% for first half of  2009, says TNS, Medical Marketing & Media, 9.16.09; NielsenWire, 9.1.09]