Monday, March 16, 2009

Big Pharma Chases Skirts

Today I'd like to point you towards an excellent column in the Huffington Post on how pharmaceutical companies pay close attention to women when marketing a new prescription drug.

Women need to know that they are being studied, targeted, and manipulated by very effective advertising that has little to do with good science. The ads and the target markets are heavily researched by internal marketing departments, branding experts and advertising companies.

In order to effectively drive sales with the important female demographic, companies first identify which issues in life women are most concerned and/or insecure about. They then develop their entire marketing campaign around those issues rather than the specific science of the drug. Big bucks go into finding the emotional hot button for any given pill or medical problem. The majority of ads feature sexy, smiling, happy people -- walking by the lake, rolling around with their children, or on a fun/hot date. We all want a little piece of that, don't we? Pharma knows how to play off of women's deepest insecurities and our biggest dreams...and it works.

The author worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 10 years, so she knows what she's talking about. It's an excellent wake-up call for anyone, female or male, who has been brainwashed into thinking that health comes from a pill.

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