Specialty Spiral

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Pharmacy, nursing, hospital management, and radiology specialty journals took a big hit in ad expenditures in the first half of 2008.

According to the results of an audit by PERQ/HCI's Journal Ad Review, the  journals with double-digit declines included pharmacy (-10%), nursing (-10.1%), hospital management (-12.5%) and radiology (-13.3%). Specialty markets with the lowest dollar losses include: dental (-0.4%), laboratory (-1.5%) and ophthalmology (-5%). 
Only one of the eight specialty markets registered higher ad expenditures during the first of half 2008 and that gain (+0.1%)—reported by optometry—was only marginal at best. 

When measured on an ad page basis, laboratory was unchanged while all other specialty markets reported losses. Those in decline ranged from -0.2% (dental) to -20.0% (radiology).  As a group, these eight markets lost 5.5% on a dollar basis and -7.8% on an ad page basis.

Optometry advertising slightly up
The only bright spot on the list in terms of spend were optometry journals which saw a marginal gain of 0.1% during the first half of 2008. This increase follows a gain of 3.6% in the year-ago period.

Topping the list as the number one advertiser in this market was Alcon, despite an ad spending decrease of 16%. The Essilor Group edged up from 3rd to 2nd due largely to ad outlays for their newly advertised Crizal Advance and Allergan slipped from 2nd to 3rd even though ad spending advanced by 2%. Bausch & Lomb repeated in 4th place while Marchon Eyewear advanced from 8th to 5th following renewed ad support for their Eyewear Collections and for Marchon Software.

Wiley X Eyewear climbed from 21st to 6th.  The Hoya Corporation slipped from 5th to 7th as ad outlays declined by 24%, while Younger Optics jumped from 28th to 8th due largely to Drivewear Lenses and Trilogy Lenses. The Luxottica Group repeated in 9th place while Seiko Optical Products moved up from 24th to 10th.

There were six products new to the top 10 including Bausch & Lomb's Purevision Toric Contact Lenses, up from 45th to 1st and newly advertised Transitions Optical VI Lenses (2nd). Allergan's Restasis repeated in 3rd place, Alcon's Travaton Z dropped from 2nd to 4th even as ad expenditures increased by 9% and Coppertone Polarized Lenses from Vision-Ease Lens was 5th.

Pharmacy spending down
In Q1 of 2008, ad spending in pharmacy journals declined by 10% during the first six months of the year. In the same quarter last year, the market grew by 2.6%. The four top advertisers in this market were all new to the top 10.  Forest moved up from 23rd to 1st due largely to ad outlays for Bystolic, Ortho-McNeil climbed from 39th to 2nd due and Lilly jumped from 96th to 3rd due to ad support for the Humalog KwikPen.  

A 34% increase in ad outlays due in part to higher spending on Abreva advanced GlaxoSmithKline from 12th to 4th while Wyeth moved up from 9th to 5th.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals which initiated advertising support for Luvox CR ranked 6th and Teva climbed from 14th to 7th following an 18% increase in ad outlays.  Sandoz slipped from 7th to 8th following a 38% reduction in ad expenditures, AstraZeneca dropped from 3rd to 9th while Mylan edged up from 11th to 10th even as spending was reduced by 28%.

Six of the top 10 products in the pharmacy sector were newly advertised entries. Doribax Injection, Bystolic, Luvox CR and the Humalog KwikPen product family took the first four spots. Forest's new product Lexapro, climbed from 42nd to 5th following a 177% boost in spending while a Mylan Pharma company ad moved up from 8th to 6th. 

Ophthalmology spending in decline
Ad spending in ophthalmology journals declined by 5% during the first six months of 2008. This loss reversed the first-half 2007 gain of 5%. Alcon is, by far, the largest advertiser in this segment with a 22.6% share. Allergan retained 2nd place with a 13.8% share. Advanced Medical Optics and Bausch & Lomb repeated in 3rd and 4th place, respectively, while Santen & Vistakon Pharmaceuticals climbed from 8th to 5th following an 88% boost in ad spending.

A 20% cut in ad outlays resulted in Genentech falling from 5th to 6th, Pfizer Ophthalmics retained 7th place and Novartis Ophthalmics climbed from 12th to 8th due largely to higher ad outlays for Genteal Lubricant Eye Drops and Gel. Ista Pharmaceuticals fell from 6th to 9th while Carl Zeiss Meditec was unchanged in 10th place.
There were four newly advertised products in the top 10 including Allergan's Combigan, a combination product to treat intraocular pressure (1st) and Santen & Vistakon's Iquix eye drops (2nd). Alcon's Travatan Z slipped from 1st to 3rd, while Vigamox repeated in 4th place. Genentech's Lucentis Injection fell from 2nd to 5th.

The other specialties
Ad spending in hospital management journals fell by 12.5% during the first half 2008. This loss follows a gain of 3.6% during the first six months of 2007. Siemens Medical System moved up from 2nd to 1st even though ad outlays declined by 23%, Premier slipped from 1st to 2nd following a 43% budget cut. During the first six months of 2008, ad spending in laboratory journals dropped by 1.5%. This loss follows a 7.8% gain during the first half 2007. BD Diagnostics advanced from 3rd to 1st as ad spending increased by 76% and Olympus America moved up from 5th to 2nd on a 67% boost in ad outlays. After registering a 2.4% gain during the first half 2007, ad spending in nursing journals declined by 10.1% during the first six months of 2008. Nurses Service Organization was up from 2nd to 1st. Supplemental Health Care Services, the heaviest staffing advertiser, slipped from 1st to 2nd following a 16% reduction in ad spending. During the first-half 2008, ad spending in dental journals registered a marginal loss of 0.4%. During the first six months of 2007, this market grew by 2.7%. Association Seminar Ads, one of five advertisers new to the top 10 jumped from 74th to 1st and Ivoclar Vivadent edged up from 3rd to 2nd. After recording a 10.2% decline during the first half 2007, radiology journals were down another 13.3% during the first six months of 2008. GE Healthcare was once again the top advertiser in this market as Siemens Medical Systems slipped from 1st to 2nd following a 39% cut in ad budgets. 

Eugene M. May is director of marketing research at ACNielsen HCI

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