Specialties Journal Ad Review: Feeling the Pinch

Share this content:

Only three of eight specialty markets audited by PERQ/HCI's Journal Ad Review registered higher ad expenditures during 2007. Reporting gains were laboratory (+8.4%), ophthalmology (+0.2%) and optometry (+0.2%). Those with lower ad spending when compared to 2006 include radiology and pharmacy. Smaller losses were reported by hospital management, nursing and dental.

When measured on an ad page basis (Fig. 1), only one market, laboratory, reported an increase (+8.1%). Losses for the seven markets in decline ranged from -14.6% (radiology) to -1.1% (nursing). Overall, the eight specialty markets reported on here were down 3.4% on an ad page basis and -1.2% on a dollar basis.

Ophthalmology advertising has marginal gain

Ad spending in ophthalmology journals grew by just 0.2% during 2007. This marginal gain follows a very strong 17% increase in 2006.

Alcon Laboratories, which increased ad spending by 13%, repeated in first place, while Allergan retained the number two spot even though ad outlays were reduced by 10%. Advanced Medical Optics moved up from 4th to 3rd due largely to higher ad expenditures for their Advanced CustomVue Procedure, Bausch & Lomb slipped from 3rd to 4th following a 28% cut in ad outlays and Genentech advanced from 6th to 5th following a 50% boost in spending.

Pfizer Ophthalmics moved up from 8th to 6th due largely to higher ad outlays for Xalatan Solution. Santen and Vistakon Pharmaceuticals climbed from 11th to 7th due largely to the launch of Iquix, an ocular anti-infective medication, while Ista Pharmaceuticals fell from 5th to 8th following an ad spending cut of 41%. Bausch & Lomb stayed in 9th, while Optimedica moved from 12th to 10th as expenditures were increased for PASCAL Method of Photocoagulation.

Genentech's Lucentis Injection is now the most heavily advertised product with a 4% share of all ad outlays in this segment. Alcon's Travatan Z jumped from 23rd to 2nd, while Pfizer Ophthalmics' Xalatan Solution moved up from 7th to 3rd following a 36% boost in spending. Allergan's Lumigan dropped from 2nd to 4th as ad outlays fells by 22% and Alcon's Vigamox slipped from 4th to 5th even though ad spending was up by 7%.

Restasis, up from 11th to 6th, and Alphagan P, down from 1st to 7th, were two more Allergan products that made the top 10 list. Alcon products took the next three spots. Ad spending on Nevanac, for eye pain and inflammation resulting from cataract surgery, slipped from 6th to 8th, the newly advertised Infiniti Ozil Torsional Handpiece was 9th and the AcrySof Toric Single-Piece IOL climbed from 29th to 10th as outlays increased by 77%.

Pharmacy journals turn negative

After reporting a gain of 8.6% in 2006, ad spending in pharmacy journals registered a loss of 4.5% during full year 2007.

Pfizer retained the number one spot in this market segment even though ad expenditures were reduced by 3%. Moving up from 32nd to 2nd following a major boost in ad spending for Invega was Janssen Pharmaceutica, while AstraZeneca climbed from 15th to 3rd due largely to the launch of Symbicort. Wyeth slipped from 2nd to 4th following a 34% reduction in ad expenditures, while Novo Nordisk advanced from 11th to 5th on a 26% increase in ad outlays.

GlaxoSmithKline fell from 4th to 6th as ad spending was reduced by 18%, while Sandoz moved up from 9th to 7th as expenditures increased by 7%. Schering-Plough, new to 2007's top 10, climbed from 102nd to 8th due largely to higher ad outlays for Noxafil and the over-the-counter launch of Miralax. Teva dropped from 3rd to 9th, while Takeda advanced from 34th to 10th due to higher ad spending for a number of products including Duetact and Actos Plus Met.

Three newly advertised products that made the top 10 list include Janssen's new schizophrenia medication, Invega (1st), AstraZeneca's Symbicort (2nd) and Bristol-Myers Squibb/Otsuka's Abilify (5th). A 200% boost in spending moved Forest's Lexapro from 39th to 3rd and a 104% spending increase advanced Pfizer's Exubera Insulin Inhalation Powder from 20th to 4th.

New to the top 10 are the NovoLog FlexPen, up from 11th to 6th and Schering-Plough's Noxafil. Repeating products include a Mylan Pharma Co. Ad, down from 6th to 7th, Wyeth's Tygacil, down from 5th to 9th following a budget cut of 25%, and Abbott's Humira, down from 4th to 11th as spending was cut by 47%.

Optometry advertising turns positive

After reporting a loss of 2.8% during 2006, ad spending in optometry journals registered a marginal gain of 0.2% during 2007.

Once again, Alcon Laboratories was the heaviest advertiser in optometry journals even though spending was cut by 5%. Allergan moved up from 6th to 2nd as ad outlays were increased by 80% for a number of products including Restasis, Optive Lubricant Eye Drops, Allergan Dry Eye Products and Lumigan. The Essilor Group moved up from 4th to 3rd even though ad outlays were reduced by 7%, Bausch & Lomb slipped from 3rd to 4th and Marchon Eyeware repeated in 5th place.

Hoya Corporation, a supplier of advanced optical materials and components, jumped from 50th to 6th as ad expenditures were increased by 308% on a number of their products that compete in this segment. Other advertisers in the top 10 that increased ad outlays include the Luxottica Group, up from 9th to 7th and Shamir Insight, unchanged in 10th place. Conversely, lower ad expenditures resulted in CIBA Vision moving from 2nd to 8th and Carl Zeiss Vision from 7th to 9th.

Three of the most heavily advertised products in optometry journals are from Alcon. They are Opti-Free Replenish Multi-Purpose Solution, which retained the top spot, Travatan Z, up from 68th to 2nd on a 238% boost in spend and the Tobradex Family of Products, up from 96th to 9th. Also in the top 10 were Allergan products, Restasis, up from 17th to 3rd with a 67% increase in ad spend, and Optive Lubricant Eye Drops (8th).

Other products new to the top group include Bausch & Lomb's Zylet, up from 24th to 4th, Pfizer's Xalatan, up from 12th to 5th, and Drivewear Eyewear from Younger Optics, up from 97th to 10th. Vision Expo slipped from 2nd to 6th following a 23% cut in ad outlays, while a new entry from Seiko, Succeed Internal Free-Form Lens, was 7th.

The other specialties

The 6.4% increase reported by radiology journals during 2006 was followed by a 9.6% loss in ad expenditures in 2007. Siemens Medical Systems, up from 2nd to 1st, even as spending was cut by 16%, edged out GE Healthcare which slipped from 1st to 2nd following a 47% reduction in ad outlays. During 2007, ad spending in dental journals had a marginal loss of 0.1%. In the year-ago period, this segment grew by 1.3%. 3M ESPE, which boosted ad spending by 47% to support a number of new products, repeated as the top advertiser in dental journals during 2007. Invoclar Vivadent moved up from 3rd to 2nd following a 6% increase in ad outlays. After registering a 6.9% loss during 2006, ad spending in hospital management journals declined by 0.7% in 2007. Siemens Medical Systems moved up from 2nd to 1st due in large part to ad support for newly advertised products, Medical Solutions Diagnostics and UpTime Service. Premier Inc. moved up from 3rd to 2nd. During 2007, ad spending in laboratory journals grew by 8.4% when compared to the year-ago period. This gain follows a 3.9% increase in 2006. Roche Diagnostics repeated in the number one spot even though ad outlays decreased by 19%. Bio-Rad advanced from 3rd to 2nd with spending increases of 11%. After recording a 4.4% increase during 2006, ad expenditures in nursing journals declined by 0.3% during 2007. The top 10 advertisers in this market tend to focus on recruitment. The two exceptions were Nurses Services Organization, which repeated in 2nd place even though ad expenditures were down by 26% and Pfizer, which moved up from 9th to 7th as ad outlays increased by 16%. 


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

Share this content:
Scroll down to see the next article