Friday, April 6, 2007

Get Off My Back! I Love Sally!

I may rue the day I posted my "Web 2.0 Hates Sally" entry to Pharma Marketing Blog!

I only did it because Jim Edwards over at BrandweekNRX wrote a piece about old news; ie, the FTC is looking into the practice of using celebrities in ads and is especially concerned about the lack of transparency exhibited by celebrities who do not mention they are being paid to promote products on talk shows (see "FTC Begins Review of Celebrities in Ads After Stars Take Undisclosed Drug Money").

In my post -- which tried to illustrate Jim's point -- I cited some comments from consumers on "social network" sites that dissed Sally. One person related how Sally tried repeatedly to steer Martha Stewart to a discussion of bone health and Boniva on the Martha Stewart show.

This got me to thinking about some questions that I thought needed answering, including these: "Are celebrities paid more if they mention the drug name? Are they paid less if they cannot get the whole message on the show?

Next thing I know, PharmaGossip is asking "Mack vs Field - where is the love?" and I receive this comment from "Beth":

"Perhaps Ms. Fields (sic) feels passionate about the subject of osteoporosis. Perhaps Ms. Fields mother was bent over with a dowagers hump and Ms. Fields is so relieved to know that her fate can be different that she has become a tad evangelical about the subject. Lighten one is going to run out and buy Boniva on the street corner. Osteoporosis is a real problem for many women."
Jeez! Imply anything negative about Sally Field and you get mail from all over the world!

I can see that Sally is an unassailable spokesperson worth her weight in gold. But how much gold? And under what terms? That and transparency was the main points of my post, not whether or not Sally has osteoporosis or whether or not it is a real medical condition.

So, lighten up already! I love Sally!

On to other Pharma Blogospshere matters...

'Round the Outer Rim: New Blog Sigthings
It's always exciting to discover new orbs in the Pharma Blogosphere. This past week, two blogs have moved within the Outer Rim of The Pharma Blogosphere: The Group Guy (Independent Thought On Employee Benefit Matters For Employers) and Catalyst Online Blog (The Authority in Healthcare Search Marketing).

Dan Buckle, author of The Group Guy, says he "gave up the fast lane for a bigger piece of sky," by which I guess he means one of two things: he's retired or fired from the industry about which he is an expert. Just kiddin', Dan.

Dan is a passionate saltwater wade fisherman in search of a 30" Speckled Trout. Dan, we're all looking to catch a big fish here in the Pharma Blogosphere! You should fit right in!

That's him -- I assume the one wearing the hat -- in the photo above left.

Anyway, The Group Guy's focus is on employee benefits and right now is very focused on the pharmaceutical industry and PBMs. As long as that remains a focus, The Group Guy at least will have a place in the outer reaches of our sphere.

The other blog new to the Pharma Blogosphere is Catalyst online blog, which is all about search engine marketing with a focus on healthcare.

The author is Heather Frahm, co-founder and president of Catalyst online, a leading provider of search marketing services predominately for healthcare companies.

According to Heather -- who incidentally is one of the few women bloggers in the Pharma Blogosphere -- the Catalyst online blog is "meant to engage, inform and enlighten marketing professionals who are either actively practicing search marketing or simply interested in learning more about the power and impact of establishing an effective search marketing strategy for their company or brand."

Maybe she can enlighten us on exactly how much pharmaceutical companies spend on search. I've heard from the folks at eMarketer that about 40% of the industry's online ad budget goes to search. If we knew how much that was, we can then estimate how much money overall the industry spends online. Now that would be a big effing trout to have in our net!

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