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Case Study Usage Of Internet In Advertising And Sales Promotion

In 1999 Paxil, manufactured by SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline plc), was third among the pharmaceutical industry’s best-selling SSRIs, a class of drugs then used primarily to treat depression and anxiety related maladies. The drugmaker’s strategy for gaining ground on rivals Prozac and Zoloft included extending Paxil’s market by winning approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat other forms of mental illness. When, in May of that year, the FDA made Paxil its only approved treatment for social anxiety disorder, the drug finally found itself in a position, after seven years on the market, to outsell its rivals. Social anxiety disorder was a little-known condition at the time, but estimates by SmithKline Beecham put the number of potential Paxil customers in the United States at close to 10 million. Enlisting the public relations firm Cohn & Wolfe as well as Paxil’s advertising agency of record, McCann Erickson Consumer Health, SmithKline Beecham mounted a combined physician, PR, and directto-consumer branded campaign that was meant to inform Americans about social anxiety disorder and to let them know that Paxil alone had been approved to treat it.


Immediately after learning of the FDA ruling, SmithKline Beecham increased its spending on physician-targeted ads to get the word out about the new Paxil designation. Meanwhile, the drugmaker funded a public-service campaign meant to spread awareness of social anxiety disorder. Then, in September 1999, a $30 million push of the Paxil brand began its run on television and in magazines with national circulations. SmithKline Beecham focused its message about social anxiety disorder on professionals between the ages of 18 and 34, with an emphasis on men, who were believed more likely to seek help for the condition because of career concerns.


The PR campaign resulted in more than a billion media references to social anxiety disorder, up from roughly 50 in previous years, almost all of which mentioned that Paxil was the only approved treatment for the condition. Seven months after its launch, the campaign had made the Paxil brand name one of the most recognized prescription drugs in the United States, and the drug was responsible for a sizeable increase in the anxiety medication category. Paxil gained on its SSRI rivals and experienced sustained sales growth, a trend that continued as the drug won further treatment designations, and the company adapted its marketing accordingly in the following years.

Хейл пожал плечами и направился к буфету. Буфет всегда был его первой остановкой. Попутно он бросил жадный взгляд на ноги Сьюзан, которые та вытянула под рабочим столом, и тяжело вздохнул.

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