PhRMA, friends air $12m pro-reform TV spot

PhRMA, friends air $12m pro-reform TV spot
PhRMA, friends air $12m pro-reform TV spot
The first execution in PhRMA's promised pro-health reform campaign drops today. The 30-second TV spot, dubbed “Mean for you,” emphasizes the impact of proposed legislation on individuals.

“What does health insurance reform mean for you?” the narrator asks, amid warm piano music and images of hospital patients and staff. “It means you can't be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition or dropped if you get sick.”

The ad, though primarily funded by PhRMA, is the work of a coalition including the AMA and the Federation of American Hospitals as well as liberal advocacy group Families USA and the service employees' union SEIU. It will run through early September at a cost of around $12 million and was produced by DC ad shop GMMB, a White House favorite. It will be followed by print ads, starting next week, as well as radio.

PhRMA SVP Ken Johnson said the spot is the first of a wave of new ads the organization is airing, some of which will be aimed at fostering general awareness, others more issue-specific. “We will have additional commercials ready to go in the next week or so,” said Johnson. “They will be strategically targeted around the country where we believe we can make a difference.”

Not all advertising will be done through the coalition, called Americans for Stable Quality Care. Some will be PhRMA-branded, others jointly sponsored by PhRMA and Families USA, Johnson said. A “mix” of agencies is working on the ads.

GMMB produced an earlier iteration of the campaign that aired in January with the message that healthcare reform is essential to getting the economy back on track. That spot was sponsored by a similar coalition.

“Mean for you” is airing in 12 states represented by congressional centrists. “There's a lot of criticism right now that the process is moving too quickly,” said Johnson. “Opponents of reform say ‘Slow down, let's take the time to think it through.' Those are all delaying tactics designed to kill reform, and our argument is that it can't wait anymore.”