Targeted Drug Ads: Opening Pandora's Box
[From www.statnews.com] Pandora now has more than 16 million individual monthly listeners over age 55 - and its fastest growing segments of new users are people in that bracket. Not surprisingly, over the past two years, the company has seen a rapid rise in interest from drug advertisers, according to Lee Ann Longinotti, who runs Pandora's business with health care advertisers.
Pandora now counts 20 drug makers among its recent advertisers, including Pfizer, Merck, and Johnson & Johnson. They've promoted 40 different prescription and over-the-counter drugs, for conditions ranging from diabetes to erectile dysfunction to a circadian rhythm disorder common in the blind.
To target users more precisely, Pandora struck a partnership a year ago with Crossix, a company which mines anonymized patient data from electronic health records, insurance claims, and pharmacy transactions.
That's allowed Pandora to create profiles of the types of people who are most likely to be interested in drugs for a certain condition. Then it helps the pharma company follow those users around as they listen to music on different devices throughout the day.
Comments from LinkedIn Followers
Cindy Bevington Olmstead, Freelance Journalist and Content Researcher and Editor, said:
As someone who does internet searches on health issues as part of my job, I think these targeted ads are hilarious. If anyone were to sit down and examine my searches for the past six months they would think I have every disease known to mankind ... and the ads certainly prove that if nothing else I'm really messing with somebody's computer algorithms.