Consumer Marketing Briefs: healthcare reform, USC hospitals, Nielsen

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In the frenzied days of December, as the Senate scrambled to wrap up its version of healthcare reform legislation, pharmas and advertisers overcame a last-minute effort to add an amendment that would have jacked up the cost of pharma advertising by pulling its deductability, making it 35% more expensive under top corporate marginal tax. Based on a bill authored by Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), the amendment never made it to the floor.

Ads for USC hospitals borrow from the LA school's sports program with the tagline “Fight On” alongside gritty pics of docs donning scrubs. The billboard, print and banner ads are by Omaha-based Swanson Russell, and are aimed at raising the profile of the hospitals, which USC says are well-regarded in the medical community but not well-known in their community.   

Pharmas were the No. 2 advertising category for the first nine months of 2009, according to Nielsen, spending $3.2 billion and placing behind automotive's $5.3 billion and ahead of fast food's $3 billion.

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