How about this:

“The U.S. economy has been in recession for about a year, according to the research organization [NBER] that tracks economic cycles. The determination was made Friday and released to the public Monday.” (WSJ)

[It sure took them a long time for these dodos to release this information!]

According to NBER: “A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in production, employment, real income, and other indicators. A recession begins when the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends when the economy reaches its trough. Between trough and peak, the economy is in an expansion.”

I asked back in March 2008 if the pharma industry was in a recession (see here). From the start of that poll, the vast majority of respondents agreed that the industry was in a recession.

But using the NBER “peak and trough” definition of recession and looking at this chart (on left) of annual spending on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising, it appears that the pharma industry economy “peaked” in 2006, one full year prior to the US economy as a whole!

I am predicting that the “trough” in the pharma economy won’t happen until 2009. If the US economy continues to lag the pharma economy by a full year, then I expect the US economy won’t be in expansion until 2010-2011!

What do you think is The Future of Rx DTC Advertising? Take my survey and predict what the level of DTC spending will be in 2009.

P.S. AdvertisingAge confirms that the advertising industry began its recession before the general industry did: “Ad-industry employment has dropped by 52,000 since hitting its peak in November 2007” (see “No Surprise: We’re in a Recession“).