Evolution of Pharma Marketing Part 1: When Print Ads Ruled

Published August 24, 2022

Evolution of Pharma Marketing: When Print Ads Ruled

Before digital and commercial ads became the preferred method of communication, pharmaceutical companies were limited to advertising through word of mouth, and more prominently, print ads. These print ads went through a long period of evolution before they would become the pictures we all peruse in our doctors’ waiting rooms.

While it seems like online advertising is taking over, it’s rare to flip through a printed publication and not see spreads about new and innovative medicines. With many medical magazines and journals going digital, it’s fair to wonder if print ads are worth including in your marketing budget. However, anything that’s lasted almost three hundred years is something worth paying attention to.

Sources:

Bulik, Beth Synder. (2016, April 4). Once again, Pharma beats all other industries with $1.5B in magazine ads. Fierce Pharma. https://www.fiercepharma.com/marketing/once-again-pharma-beats-all-other-industries-1-5b-magazine-ads.

Colford, Paul D. (1997, October 30). Drug Ads Have Magazines Feeling Good. Los Angeles Times. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1997-oct-30-ls-48130-story.html.

Donohue, Julie. (2006). “A History of Drug Advertising: The Evolving Rules of Consumer and Consumer Protection.” Millbank Quarterly, 84(8), 659-699. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0009.2006.00464.x

Greene, Jeremy and Aaron Kesselheim. (2015, September 7). An Age-Old Battle: FDA Versus the Shill. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/09/fda-drug-promotion-social-media/404563/.

Spiegel, Alix. (2009, October 13). Selling Sickness: How Drug Ads Changed Health Care. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2009/10/13/113675737/selling-sickness-how-drug-ads-changed-health-care.

Weill Cornell Medicine. (n.d.) The History of Drug Advertising. https://library.weill.cornell.edu/about-us/snake%C2%A0oil%C2%A0-social%C2%A0media-drug-advertising-your-health/history-drug-advertising.

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