Journal Ad Review: Optical Illusion

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Six of eight specialty markets tracked by PERQ/HCI’s Journal Ad Review (JAR) reported higher ad spending during 2006. The strongest growth was registered by ophthalmology followed by pharmacy and radiology. Lesser gains were observed with laboratory, nursing and dental.
The decline in hospital management (-8%) follows a 7% increase during 2005 while the loss for optometry comes on top of a slight decline (-1%) in the prior year.

When year-to-year comparisons are based on ad pages (Fig. 1), five specialty markets fell in the plus column and three were negative. The good news: total ad pages for all eight markets were up 2.6%, while dollars were up by 3%. In 2005, both pages and dollars were down. A brief review of the key specialty markets, including the largest advertisers and the most heavily advertised products/services within each, follows.

Pharmacy advertising shows strong growth
Ad spend in pharmacy journals grew 8% during 2006. This gain follows a similar percentage loss during 2005.

Pfizer continued as the top advertiser in this segment following a 27% boost in spending due largely to newly advertised products, Chantix, Exubera Insulin Inhalation Powder and Eraxis Injection, and renewed ad support for Celebrex. Wyeth advanced from 6th to 2nd due largely to higher ad outlays for Effexor XR, while GlaxoSmithKline climbed from 13th to 3rd as ad spending increased for a number of products including Abreva, Coreg and Zofran. The Bristol-Myers Squibb/Otsuka partnership that promotes the Abilify product family moved up from 8th to 4th and Teva slipped to 5th.

The next five companies were all new to the top group. Abbott jumped from 15th to 6th, Sanofi-Aventis advanced from 18th to 7th and Ethex Corporation climbed from 38th to 8th due largely to newly advertised products, Oxycodone HCl and Hydromorphone HCl. Sandoz moved from 12th to 9th, while BMS jumped from 117th to 10th due to ad support for Emsam.

At the product level, the Abilify product family advanced from 2nd to 1st as spending increased by 87%. Renewed ad support for Effexor XR moved the Wyeth brand from 52nd to 2nd while Emsam, marketed by BMS, ranked 3rd. Abbott’s Humira climbed from 22nd to 4th, while Wyeth’s Tygacil advanced from 10th to 5th.

Mylan and Watson increased ad spending for their company ads which ranked 6th and 7th, respectively. ScriptPro’s Pharmacy Automation System jumped from 83rd to 8th following a 260% boost in spending.

Ophthalmology journals register strong gain
During 2006, ad spending in ophthalmology journals increased by 17% when compared to 2005. This gain, the highest reported by any specialty market, follows a strong 8% increase in 2005.
Alcon Laboratories continued as the top advertiser as ad outlays grew by 39%. Allergan repeated in 2nd following a 52% boost in spending and Bausch & Lomb advanced from 4th to 3rd due to a 35% increase in ad expenditures. Of note is that seven of the products in the top 10 are marketed by Alcon or Allergan.

Advanced Medical Optics slipped from 3rd to 4th while Ista Pharmaceuticals and Genentech each advanced one spot to 5th and 6th, respectively. The Eyetech/Pfizer Ophthalmics partnership that promotes Macugen fell from 5th to 7th following a 41% reduction in spending, while Pfizer Ophthalmics retained 8th place as strong ad support for Xalatan continued.

At the product level, Allergan’s Alphagan P jumped from 20th to 1st as ad expenditures increased by 242% and Lumigan moved up to 2nd following a 40% boost in spending. Genentech’s Lucentis, a new product for the treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration was 3rd. Alcon’s Vigamox moved up to 4th, while Allergan’s Acular LS advanced to 5th on a 55% increase in ad spending. Alcon’s Nevanac moved up from 56th to 6th as ad outlays increased by 345%.

Pfizer Ophthalmics’ Xalatan moved from 9th to 7th, while Allergan’s Zymar dropped from 4th to 8th as ad expenditures declined by 21%. Alcon’s Azopt climbed from 14th to 9th following a 37% boost in spending and Bausch & Lomb’s Zylet moved up from 13th to 10th as ad outlays increased by 17%.

Optometry advertising is down again
After registering a marginal loss of 1% during the previous year (2005), ad spending in optometry journals declined by another 3% in 2006.

Alcon Laboratories, one of six companies carrying over from 2005’s top 10, remained the top advertiser during 2006 as ad outlays increased by 15%. CIBA Vision and Bausch & Lomb each advanced one spot to 2nd and 3rd, respectively, while the Essilor Group slipped to 4th following a 17% cut in ad spending. Marchon Eyeware repeated in 5th place and Shamir Insight was unchanged in the number 10 spot.

A 74% increase in ad spending, due largely to Refresh Tears Lubricant Eye Drops, moved Allergan from 15th to 6th, Carl Zeiss Vision advanced from 11th to 7th following a 21% increase in spending and Wiley X Eyewear jumped from 34th to 8th on a 102% boost in ad outlays. Completing the top 10 was the Luxottica Group, up from 13th to 9th.

Only one product/service carried over from the previous year’s top 10, namely Vision Expo, up from 4th to 2nd, following an 8% increase in spending. Alcon’s Opti-Free Replenish Multi-Purpose Solution took 1st. Newly advertised products include the GT2 Progressive Lens from Carl Zeiss Vision, the Varilux Physio Progressive Lens from Essilor, Purevision Toric Contact Lenses from Bausch & Lomb and the Transitions Partners in Education Program.

Previously advertised products moving into the top group include two CIBA Vision entries, O2OPTIX Daily Wear Soft Contact Lenses (34th to 5th) and Focus Dailies with Aqua Release Disposable (63rd to 6th). The Complete Moisture Plus multi-purpose solution from Advanced Medical Optics moved up from 35th to 7th on a 70% boost in spending while Mount Eyeware from Tuscany jumped from 56th to 9th.

The other specialties
After reporting losses of 2% in 2005 and 7% in 2004, ad spending in radiology journals registered a moderate (6%) gain during 2006. A 33% boost in spending kept GE Healthcare solidly entrenched as the lead advertiser in radiology journals. Siemens Medical Systems retained 2nd place. GE Healthcare’s Omniscan Injection is now the most heavily advertised product with a 1.4% share of all ad outlays in this segment. Magnevist Injection slipped from 1st to 2nd following a 20% reduction in ad expenditures.

Second half 2006 ad spending in dental journals was sufficient to reverse a first half decline of 4% with the end result being a full year gain of 1%. Taking the number one spot was 3M ESPE, up from 8th place as ad outlays were increased for the Filtex Supreme Plus Universal System, Adper Prompt Self Etch Adhesive and Lava Porcelain. Sirona advanced from 7th to 2nd due largely to Sirona Seminar. On the product side, IPS E.Max Metal Free Esthetics was up from 185th to 1st, with Colgate Total Toothpaste unchanged in 2nd.

After reporting a strong gain (7%) during 2005, ad spending in hospital management journals fell by 8% in 2006. Premier climbed from 9th to 1st following a 91% boost in spending. Siemens slipped from 1st to 2nd due largely to ad spending cuts on the Soarian Information Solution and Siemens Integrated Service Management and Wellspring Partners LTD dropped from 2nd to 3rd. Premier Services, one of seven services new to the top 10, advanced from 15th to 1st following a 112% boost in spending, while GE Healthcare Financial Services, was up from 3rd to 2nd even as ad outlays declined by 24%.

During 2006, laboratory journals posted a 4% increase in ad expenditures, following a 6% decline in 2005. Roche Diagnostics is now the leading advertiser in this segment, advancing from 2nd to 1st as ad expenditures increased by 22% while Olympus American slipped one spot to 2nd. Olympus Diagnostic Products were the top products, while the CCP3 Assay from Inova Diagnostics came in 2nd.

Ad expenditures in nursing journals grew 3% in 2006. Supplement Health Care Services, which is involved with recruitment, advanced from 2nd to 1st switching places with Nurses Service Organization. At the product/service level, Supplement Health Care Recruitment advanced from 2nd to 1st following a 36% increase in ad spending, Liability Insurance for Nurses slipped to 2nd.

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

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