Sanofi-Aventis airs Ambien CR TV ads, coupon

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Sanofi-Aventis' DTC campaign for Ambien CR (zolpidem tartrate extended release) began this month with a pair of television commercials--including a TV reminder ad--and a coupon for a free seven-day trial.
The 15-second reminder ad ran its course before Sanofi-Aventis introduced the longer spot, a spokesperson said. TV reminder ads are banned under the PhRMA DTC guidelines, which go into effect Jan. 1.
Among the scenes in the 60-second spot is one showing the multi-layered pill's first layer dissolving in a fizz of green 'Z's followed by the second only more slowly. That scene is followed by one of a woman waking up, looking well rested and vigorously going about her morning routine. A voiceover presents risk and safety information before the narrator concludes with the tagline, "Tomorrow will thank you."
The coupon, which ran in mixed media, offers a seven-day free trial of Ambien CR and appears to contain no indication or risk information.
Ambien CR gained approval in September, and Sanofi-Aventis launched to doctors in October.
Sanofi-Aventis, which faces patent expiration on original Ambien next year, aims to switch at least half of patients to the new formulation.

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