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April 8, 2013
There is more to FaceBook advertising than just the typical ads that you see on your profile's homepage, or sponsored stories. In March 2013, targeted Canadians got to see a healthcare ad right on FaceBook's front homepage. I hope we will see more of these.
September 10, 2012
The internet has truly given us many learning opportunities that just weren't there not all that many years ago. According to a recent Pew research, it looks like a lot of American internet users (80%) are taking advantage of this wonderful technology to look up information about health. This is great news because it means that people are more empowered to take charge of their health, or that of loved ones. But where are they finding their online health information? Are the searchers looking for credible sources? If so, what do they consider to be credible? Now that's a study that I would like to see. Is it out there and I just didn't find it? If so, let us all know by sharing a comment below. You might be interested in "More Canadians search for medical or health-related info vs. Use social networking sites".
August 22, 2012
Ray Chepsiuk, the Commissionner for the PAAB (Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board), recently made a comment about whether PAAB "kills creativity". You can listen to the podcast here (it is about 5 minutes in length, and his comments about 'creativity' can be heard near the end of the podcast). A written transcript will be made available very shortly. Here are the key points that Ray made:
- Creativity is delivering results within specified criteria.
- If you understand the rules, you can do great pharma marketing.
- It’s an excuse and a cop-out when people say that the regulations keep them from great pharma marketing.
June 26, 2012
Influential online Moms are not just about consumer goods. They have a strong and passionate voice when it comes to healthcare as well. So why isn't the Canadian pharmaceutical industry tapping into this powerful network to help raise awareness about various disease states and provide healthy tips? Perhaps some have and I am not aware. If this is the case, please let me know. By now, we all know that the industry is heavily regulated and anything that the bloggers write on behalf of an organization, whether on paper or in a blog, would be subject to the same guidelines that the pharma marketers must abide by. A little training, a set of guidelines and monitoring can greatly minimize this risk. As an example of what could be done, take a look at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals online fundraising campaign via “Miracle Moms”. Miracle Moms consists of a group of 10 passionate Moms with influential blogs; 7 are Canadian and 3 are American. They have joined forces to raise awareness for Children’s Miracle Network and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. These Moms are highlighting moments that take place at these children hospitals and are showcasing the needs of various families who are using these hospitals’ services. In addition, each blogger is running a fundraiser via their blog and social media profiles to help a local children’s network hospital in their area. Funds raised will be given to local hospitals for much needed services like Art Therapy, Child Life Rooms, and of course state of the art equipment. I am always impressed with the soft selling skills of online Moms, and have learned a lot from this group over the years. In speaking with Stephanie, the author of the popular Canadian Mom blog "How to survive life in the suburbs", here is the key learning that she took away from her participation in the Miracle Moms campaign:
"If you ask for help spreading the word about a heartfelt cause, you will receive. I continue to be amazed by the power of Moms who Blog and the way they will all jump in to lend a hand and socially amplify each others tweets, Facebook and Blog posts when it is a subject close to their hearts. Awareness of this cause has truly blossomed all thanks to the power of social media. In future programs we may consider using a twitter party at launch to truly get off to a dramatic start."Wouldn't a blogger outreach such as this one be a great way to humanize the pharma industry? Have you ever considered it as a PR tactic? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. On a side note, congratulations to all the Mom bloggers who were involved as 'Miracle Moms' in this particular fundraising campaign. I personally appreciate all the hard work that you have put in for this very important cause, the health of our kids. Be sure to check out the blogs of these great ladies!
- My Organized Chaos
- How To Survive Life In The Suburbs
- Bored Mommy
- Things I Can't Say
- Tammy's Two Cents
- Nugglemama's Handful
- Loulou's Views
- Listen To Lena
- Busy Mommy
- CMNH Radio
March 1, 2012
Less than 2 years ago, I got very excited when I saw a Canadian pharma ad on my FaceBook profile. It was the first Canadian pharma ad that I had personally ever seen on FaceBook. You can read my post about it here. We sure have come a long way since then. Throughout 2011 and so far in 2012, I have spotted several ads on my FaceBook profile, by Canadian pharmaceutical companies. In fact, Pfizer Canada might be the first Canadian pharma company to advertise a Schedule F prescription drug name on FaceBook. In Canada, pharmaceutical companies must follow very restrictive Rx-DTC (direct-to-consumer) guidelines. The only things that can be mentioned in the public regarding Schedule F Rx products are product name, price and quantity. The ad below complies with the regulations. GlaxoSmithKline Canada promoted their vaccine Cervarix via FaceBook ads back in Q4 2011. Although the product name and disease state appear in the ad, it complies with Health Canada's Rx-DTC regulations because Cervarix is a schedule D drug, and it is not promoting a schedule A disease. Now Midol might not be a prescription drug, but it belongs to Bayer which is a pharmaceutical company, so I think that they deserve kudos for entering the social media advertisement arena. The Midol FaceBook ads were very consumer-savvy, offering a prize and driving traffic to their site by offering entertainment in the form of punishment on the man in the ad - it doesn't sound very nice, but I saw the site and I did not find it offensive at all. It was all in the name of fun. The rest of the FaceBook ads by Canadian pharma companies that I saw on my profile were all to help raise awareness of certain disease states. As long as no brand name is mentioned, this is a completely acceptable form of promotion according to Health Canada. There might have been ads targeted to men, or younger / older audience, or other demographic that did not fit my profile, so this is by no means a complete inventory of Canadian pharma ads on FaceBook. If you have seen other FaceBook ads by Canadian pharma, let us know in the comments section. If you happen to have a picture, e-mail it to me and I will gladly add it to the post and give you credit for having found it.