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Promotion of items has been occurring since the birth of bartering, advertisement is an unavoidable thing especially in today’s modern society....

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Promotion (marketing) - Wikipedia

Adverting things that consumers do not yearn for is not effective use of the advertiser’s money.
It has been 10 years since a change in a policy of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs on television. Such advertising has been criticized for encouraging inappropriate use of medications and driving up drug spending. Concern that such advertising may lead to increased use of expensive medications was amplified by the introduction of a prescription-drug benefit in Medicare in 2006 (Part D). Studies of the effect of advertising on prescribing practices have shown that such advertising increases classwide sales, helps to avert underuse of medicines to treat chronic conditions, and leads to some overuse of prescription drugs.

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Portrayals and Images of women have long been used to sell in published advertisements.
We obtained publicly available data on promotion to health professionals from 1996 to 2005 from IMS Health, an independent medical-information company. For the industry as a whole, we report on three major components of spending on promotion to professionals: visits of pharmaceutical sales representatives to physicians in office-based and hospital practices (“detailing”), free samples dispensed to physicians, and advertising in professional journals. IMS Health derives spending estimates on detailing from a nationally representative panel of office-based physicians and hospital pharmacy directors who track their contacts with sales representatives. IMS Health obtains data on spending on free samples from a panel of approximately 1200 office staff members in medical practices, sampled from the practices of the office-based physicians who are on the detailing panel. To estimate spending on advertising in professional journals, IMS Health tracks advertisements placed in approximately 400 medical journals and adds estimates of printing costs to the publisher's charge for the advertisements.


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Data on expenditures for such advertising were collected by TNS Media, which tracks local and national advertising campaigns at 44 television networks (including cable), 658 magazines, 202 newspapers, the Internet, and several network and local radio stations. Data are representative of major media markets.

We obtained data on industry-wide sales from published reports on the basis of an annual survey conducted by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). We purchased data on promotional expenditures in 2005 for products in specific classes from Verispan, another independent medical-information company, and from TNS Media. For the 10 therapeutic drug classes that had the highest U.S. sales in 2004, we obtained data on the five forms of pharmaceutical promotion that are tracked by Verispan: direct-to-consumer advertising, detailing, advertising in professional journals, meetings and educational events for physicians, and online pharmaceutical promotion to physicians. Data regarding spending on advertising are collected by TNS Media, as described previously. To track detailing, Verispan surveys approximately 13,000 office-based and hospital-based physicians and residents, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who track their encounters with pharmaceutical sales representatives. The panel is geographically representative and includes members of 31 clinical specialties.

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Industrywide data on promotion to health care professionals were collected from IMS Health. Four major components of spending on promotion to professionals are reported here: detailing (providing information on a product in a face-to-face meeting) to office-based physicians, detailing to hospital-based physicians, free samples left with physicians, and advertising in professional journals. Because IMS Health does not track spending on meetings and events, this element of promotion to professionals does not appear in our analysis. Other published data indicate that such activities account for 12 to 15 percent of promotional efforts targeted at health care professionals.

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Verispan produces estimates of industry expenditures on professional meetings and events through a survey of more than 3500 office-based physicians representing 19 specialties who report on the events sponsored by pharmaceutical companies that they attend. This panel of physicians is also asked to report on online pharmaceutical-promotion activity, which includes digital (Internet and video) promotion and continuing medical education modules. Verispan audits approximately 600 medical journals and tabloids and calculates spending on the basis of each journal's rate-card information and premium-factor costs.

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We obtained data on industry-wide and product-specific promotional expenditures from three market-research firms that track advertising spending and specialize in forms of promotion for the pharmaceutical industry; we also obtained information from researchers and staff members at the FDA and other government agencies. These data have been widely used in studies of trends in and the effects of direct-to-consumer advertising.