According to TNS Media Intelligence, “the highest growth rate [in measured media ad spending] among the top 10 [advertiser] categories was registered by Pharmaceuticals which jumped 13.8 percent to $5.29 billion. This was due to the strength of Merck’s marketing launch of an HPV vaccine and increased advertising activity at Pfizer and Astrazeneca” (see “TNS Media Intelligence Reports U.S. Advertising Expenditures Increased 4.1 Percent in 2006“).

NOTE: TNS data focuses on “measured” media, which includes network TV, cable TV, Sunday supplements, newspapers, free-standing inserts, radio, and Internet. It does not include search engine marketing, however.

Bucking this trend was Johnson and Johnson, which cut its ad spending by 19.8%!

Advertising Age suggests that J&J shifted $250 million from TV to the Internet — presumably search marketing (TNS says J&J increased measured Internet ad spending by 31% to $32.1 million; that means only $7.6 million of the $250 was shifted to measured — ie, non-search — Internet ad spending):

“Overall, J&J reported global ad spending fell around 10% to $1.9 billion last year, even as sales rose 6% to $53.2 billion. But J&J’s measured-media spending in the U.S. fell more than twice that fast, suggesting a big chunk of its marketing budget went to unmeasured media, such as search and other direct marketing, rather than away” (see “J&J Jolts ‘Old’ Media With $250 Million Ad Spend Shift“).

We also know that at least one J&J company — Centocor — is proud it has spent less on producing the documentary film Innerstate than on a “full-blown” TV DTC campaign (see upcoming March issue of Pharma Marketing News).

AdAge is lauding J&J as the Elvis of marketing: “Staid Johnson & Johnson is proving to be marketing’s Elvis Presley: While rivals talk up nontraditional marketing without changing measured-media spending habits much, J&J’s adopting the King’s refrain: ‘A little less conversation, a little more action.'”

But who’s to say that J&J hasn’t just pocketed a portion or all of that $250 million it has “shifted”? J&J declined to comment on changes in its media spending for competitive reasons, a spokesman said.

It could be that J&J may be more like Scrooge McDuck than Elvis Presley. What do you think? Please participate in my poll:

Is J&J more like Scrooge McDuck or Elvis?
Scrooge McDuck
A little of both