Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Are Pharma Drug Ads Better or Worse With Celebrity Endorsers? Some Rules to Apply.

Are Pharma Drug Ads Better or Worse With Celebrity Endorsers? Some Rules to Apply. | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Signing celebrities to market a drug can be like playing with fire, as some companies know well. But there are things drugmakers can do to minimize risk and get the most from their celeb endorsers, marketing experts say.


Before a company even considers using celebs in their direct-to-consumer ads, they need to have a great idea, Howard Courtemanche, CEO of pharma marketing company J. Walter Thompson Health, told an audience at the recent DTC National Conference in Boston. Then, a drugmaker should implement the “minus one, multiply by 20 rule" to see if the celeb is the right fit.


“Will that idea be less, or minus one, without a celebrity? That’s the first gut check," Courtemanche said. "The second check is, if you have a celebrity at hand, are there 20 other celebrities that could do the job just as well? Then you realize that you don’t have the right celebrity," Courtemanche said.


Sometimes companies run into problems once a campaign has launched. For a prime example, look no further than Duchesnay’s marketing debacle last summer after celebutante Kim Kardashian endorsed its morning sickness med on Instagram. The Canadian pharma was forced to pull its ads and run a correction after the FDA sent it a scathing warning letter.


“Most brands do an excellent job working with celebrities. There is a happy ending.”


[Bada Bing!]

Pharma Guy's insight:

I like the "Happy Ending" quote at the end of this story :)


One rule or test this advice from a marketing company does not mention is if the endorsement passes the "authenticity smell test." For more on that read this: 


Kim Kardashian dis NOT pass this test. But she was not the most egregious pharma celebrity endorser. That distinction had to go to Paula Deen who, "yes, of course" used the "N" word. See my Gallery of Favorite Drug Ad Celebrities: 

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Khloé Kardashian Shills for Kybella at Dermatologists' Offices & Soon on TV

Khloé Kardashian Shills for Kybella at Dermatologists' Offices & Soon on TV | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Kybella, Allergan’s med for excess chin fat, is already in the middle of a successful launch. But the company is by no means stopping there, execs said Tuesday.


So far, the Dublin drugmaker has trained more than 4,000 providers to inject the drug--in other words, nearly half the product’s potential user base, commercial chief Bill Meury told investors on the company’s Q1 conference call. And of those trainees, 3,000 have already placed orders for the fat-fighter.


But Allergan knows it’s up to its own marketing ranks to lay “the groundwork in the creation and development of this new market for injectables,” Meury said--and so it plans to keep the push going strong. Later this year, the company will roll out a DTC campaign for Kybella, which will follow up on marketing activities that have included a partnership with Khloé Kardashian.

Pharma Guy's insight:

I knew a Kardashian was going to shill for Allergans "chin" buster drug (read "Pfizer May Own Your Penis, But Allergan, Maker of Botox & Kybella, Owns Your Face"; But I thought it would be Kim and her fat ass as in this Kybella FAQ:


Could the drug help destroy fat cells in other areas of the body?

Like Kim Kardashian's ass?


BTW, Khloé easily competes with her sister ass-size-wise!

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