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Pharma majors line up ad blitzkrieg

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Pharma majors line up ad blitzkrieg

Pharma majors Ranbaxy, Wockhardt, Pfizer, Morepen, Pharmacia and Zydus Cadila have decided to go on an advertising spree this year. These companies plans to spend at least Rs 100 crore as compared to negligible media spend last year.

So far, pharma majors had distanced themselves from the ad world, because laws don't permit advertising for prescription-based drugs. But many traditional pharma companies are gradually shifting towards the over-the-counter (OTC) and ethical drugs segment, which allows plenty of room for advertising.

The trend has also picked up with advertising agencies like Ogilvy & Mather (O&M), Bates, FCB Ulka, TBWA Anthem and Maa Communications floating separate healthcare divisions.

According industry sources, Ranbaxy, India's largest pharmaceutical firm, has announced plans to spend Rs 20 crore on advertising this year for its new consumer healthcare division and OTC products. It has hired two ad agencies -- O&M and Grey Worldwide -- for the launch of OTC products in September this year.

O&M will build the umbrella brand, Ranbaxy Consumer Healthcare, and also draw a strategy for the launch of herbal products. Grey Worldwide will develop an advertising plan for the OTC range.

Morepen Laboratories has earmarked close to Rs 20-25 crore as its advertising budget. The company has hired four ad agencies for advertising different products -- O&M, HTA, Bates and FCB Ulka -- and has floated an independent entity called Dr Morepen for advertising its healthcare products. Products like Dab Fizz, Gol Goli and Sat Isabgol have already seen an upward swing after the ad splurge.

Vadodara-based Alembic Chemicals has hired Satchi and Satchi for advertising its cough syrup, Glycodin, and O&M for its women's healthcare drug, Isovon.

Pfizer India has also hired O&M for advertising products like becosules and cough syrup Corex, and creating a corporate image. According to industry sources, Wockhardt is scouting for an agency and is close to finalising the deal.

Source: Business Standard


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