I’ve attended many pharmaceutical marketing conferences and heard some speakers refer to themselves are ‘marketers’ and some as ‘marketeers.’

I prefer “marketer.” For one thing, I’ve never been to a pharmaceutical “marketeering” conference. But mostly, I think “marketeer”, which is pronounced like “Mouseketeer,” reminds me of the Mickey Mouse Club that was popular in the fifties! You might have been a member as a kid.

In other words, marketeer is a bit disparaging in a Mickey Mouse sort of way! Whenever someone calls himself a “marketeer,” I’m seeing that kid in the video above.

The reason why I am talking about this is because I recently came across an instance where the term “marketeer” was used as a put down rather than as an endearing term used by marketers. It was in a Newsday article about the AMA calling for a 6-month to 1-year moratorium on DTC advertising for new drugs (see “AMA asks for restrictions on drug ads)”:

“I don’t think direct-to-consumer advertising is appropriate,” said Brian R. Malone, director of pharmacy at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, NY. “It’s marketeering [my emphasis], and it may cost the consumers more because they may have been able to buy a less expensive generic drug.”

[BTW, it is NOT news that the AMA wants a moratorium on DTC! I wrote about this back in June. See “AMA vs DTC: Spinmeisters at Work“.]

Don’t you think that’s a put down?

I mean, if Mr. Malone had said “It’s marketing…”, my response would have been “Duh!” and I would have moved on.

Now that I think of it, there’s another put down here: by saying “marketeering” in the same sentence with “cost the consumer more”, the term conjures up “profiteering.” Silly me! That’s what this guy is getting at!

Of course, looking more closely, I find that the whole article is a put down. For example, a doctor is quoted in the article thusly:

“Langston said many doctors, himself included, have patients walk in and say, ‘Doctor, I saw this on TV; this is what I need.'”

Thanks to new research from Commonhealth, we all know this is an old wives tale. According to that research, patients rarely ask for drugs that they’ve seen advertised (see “Advertisers Don’t Know How DTC Works. Say wha?“). Of course, if this research is accurate, I wonder why every DTC ad urges us to “Ask Your Doctor if Brand X is Right for You.” Could it be that the Commonhealth study was faulty?

[Us mere mortals have only Commonhealth’s interpretation of the data, not the data itself. Commonhealth, however, submitted their study to the FDA. Hopefully, it included the raw data and detials of the methodology used. Whatever was submitted, you can only get a hold of it through a FOIA request, which I dutifully made a while ago. As soon as I get a response from the FDA, I’ll show you the data (if there is any).]

Anyway, I think that pharmaceutical “marketers” who refer to themselves as “marketeers” should stop it! You’re just playing into the hands of the Malones of this world. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it!