Study on the role of Below-the-line Advertising agencies in Pharmaceutical Industry


  • Dr. Rashmi Mishra


This paper provides an overview of the factors that need to be addressed to effectively manage pharmaceutical marketing plans and strategies in relation to classic management principles. The Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications Division of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulate all advertising and promotional activities for prescription drugs. Traditionally, the advertising and promotion of pharmaceutical products were directed primarily to physicians, with some limited advertising and promotion being directed to pharmacists. Pharmaceutical companies couldn’t advertise their products until the Food and Drug Administration made the process legal in 1985.Before this, the Pharma companies had no idea of how to market/advertise their products as many restrictions were also imposed to protect consumers from promotion of misleading advertisements. To cope up with these changes into the Pharma advertising the Pharma companies headed their way to Pharma advertising agencies. The Pharmaceutical Advertising is majorly done on below the line (BTL) marketing as most of the pharmaceutical products are prescription drugs and therefore, above the line (ATL) marketing of the same is strictly prohibited by the FDA to avoid its misuse. To advertise their products Pharmaceutical Companies, use various marketing tools like VA, LBL, Gimmicks, Tabletop Reminders, Doctor Gifting etc. The BTL advertising companies help pharmaceutical companies build their brand position in the market by providing all these inputs to them which intern builds up brand recall to the doctors and patients thereby helping the company increase its revenue.