If you do a Google Image search on “dtc ad spend” you’ll find the chart I created and published back on November 14, 2008 (see the chart on the left — click on it for an enlarged view — and the original post here).

On a Google web search, my post and chart is the first result listed — ahead of Pharmalot (now defunct) and any other publication or research organization!

Maybe that’s why some people have been co-opting the chart and using it in their presentations! Unfortunately, they are not citing me as the source.

Robert Palmer, EVP, Managing Partner, SUDLER & HENNESSEY DIGITAL, for example, redrew my chart in a presentation he made at the recent ePharma Summit conference. His presentation — “Creating a Three-Way Dialogue with the Patient, the Physician and the Brand: Imagining the Solutions, Dealing with the Realities” — included this version of the now famous chart ( I reproduce the whole slide — it includes some other useful information about DTC ROI):

The $4.2 billion estimate, which was represented by the black bar on my original chart, was a number I pulled out of my you-know-what! Why do I think DTC spending will decrease by 11% year-over-year in 2009? Simple:

  • We’re in a world-wide recession that economists predict will last longer than any recession in recent history …
  • I don’t see any new DTC-worthy blockbuster drugs on the horizon that will boost DTC ad spending in 2009 …
  • Even if there were new drugs approved soon, it is likely that the industry — under pressure from Congress — will impose a 1-year moratorium on DTC advertising for any new drugs brought to market in 2009 (see my post: “An Experiment: Ban All DTC Broadcast Advertising for One Year“) …
  • There will be increasing pressure on pharmaceutical marketers to prove to managed care organizations, insurers, and Medicare (which may be given the power to negotiate drug prices) that brand name drugs are effective.

I am not the only person who predicts DTC spending will decrease in 2009. Check out this post: “DTC Spending Will Be Decimated in 2009, Experts Say.”