Pfizer boosted ad spend 12% for the first nine months of 2009 over the same period in 2008, even as ad spend for the sector remained static and spending across all sectors plummeted 14.7%, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
Pfizer was the only pure-play pharma company among the top ten advertisers, at No. 8 with $896.6 million in measured media spending for the January-to-September period. Johnson & Johnson, a perennial big spender with its strong consumer products business, was listed at No. 5 with $1 billion in ad spend – down 1.3% over the same period last year.
TNS said some of Pfizer's increased spending could be attributed to its acquisition of Wyeth, but that the bump was “primarily attributable to its own portfolio of prescription drugs, particularly Lipitor and Caduet.”
Across all categories, spending was down 15.3% for the third quarter of 2009 but up 15% for pharmas, to $1.16 billion from $988. “The updated monthly trend line on total advertising expenditures still shows no meaningful improvement through October,” said Jon Swallen, SVP Research at TNS Media Intelligence. “The slump has now passed its first anniversary and year-on-year comparisons will become easier in the upcoming months. Going forward, the timing, strength and durability of an advertising recovery will ultimately be determined by the way consumer activity rebounds.”