A survey developed by WP Engine and fielded by TNS found that nearly ALL consumers (96%) do NOT want to see stories about how celebrities use a company’s products (see “Majority of Americans Want Original Content Directly from Brands — Not Stories About How Celebrities Use Products“).
This should be a wake up call for pharmaceutical marketers, many of whom are wasting precious marketing dollars hiring celebrities to “talk” about their products.
The most famous pharma brand celebrity spokesperson is pro golfer Phil Mickelson who talks about Enbrel in TV ads. Even BEFORE he was hired by Amgen, Mickelson talked about Enbrel, making outrageous claims that would never pass FDA regulatory muster if they were repeated in an ad (see image on left and read “Phil Disclosure: Mickelson is a Serial Undisclosed Celebrity Endorser“).
One pharma celebrity spokesperson achieved notoriety for posting the first ever Tweet mentioning an Rx brand name. Unfortunately, it was a less-than-stellar moment. I called the Tweet “sleazy Twitter spam” (see “Novo Nordisk’s Branded (Levemir) Tweet is Sleazy Twitter Spam!“). Don’t worry, Novo and I are still friends.
Another famous “celebrity” hired by a pharmaceutical company to promote a brand was “fired” for making inappropriate racial comments. Can you guess who it was?
No it wasn’t Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. But the comments made by Paula Deen — Novo Nordisk’s erstwhile Victoza diabetes drug spokesperson — were of a similar (or worse!) nature; i.e., a tad racist, as in admitting in a videotaped deposition as part of a discrimination suit that “Yes, of course,” she has used the “N” word (see “Should Novo Nordisk Dump Deen?“).
At the time, Novo refused to say that Deen was fired. Instead, Novo said “Novo Nordisk and Paula Deen have mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now, while she takes time to focus her attention where it is needed.” Ha! At a recent pharma agency cocktail party a Novo person admitted that “Paula is gone.”
Wow! Not only are pharma brand spokesperson celebrities ignored by consumers, some tend to be sleazy, opportunistic, and racist! Three strikes and Yer Out!