“Do I really think mass media is going to end?,” asks Ehrlich. “I would say it is 70% likely it will stay pretty much as is for the next few years. If Obama wins, he may succeed in his goal of greatly expanding medical coverage by the end of his first term. If that happens then I would place the odds of greater restrictive change at 50% or higher.”
Who’s president of the US may ultimately have little influence on the end of “Mass Media,” which is losing ground every day to alternative media — the pharma industry just doesn’t realize this. Pharma marketers are much too short-sighted to focus on massive social shifts going on around them. They are much more focused on short-term political winds shifting.
But the next president and the next Congress could bring an end to broadcast DTC advertising, which I pointed out in this blog on February 19 when I suggested that pharma brand managers should play a what-if-no-TV-DTC-scenario game (see “Helping Pharma eMarketing ‘Grow Up’“):
“Invite your product/brand manager audience to play a little game called ‘World Without TV DTC.’
Imagine if you will a world where DTC advertising on TV was not permitted until 3 years AFTER a drug is launched. It’s not so hard — especially when the political winds are shifting as they are today.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Without TV, what’s your NEXT BEST strategy to reach a massive amount of people economically?”
The point of the exercise was to make pharma marketers realize that eMarketing was the next best alternative in a world without broadcast TV. And if that is true, then they should be paying more attention to eMarketing NOW!
Pharma Would Rather Fight Than Switch!
But don’t hold your breath! The pharmaceutical industry will circle its wagons and do everything possible to prevent McCain or Obama from messing with TV DTC. They may even hire new lobbyists — perhaps McCain’s lobbyist “friend” Vicki Iseman (pictured above) will make herself available. Maybe she already has PhRMA as a client!