Pfizer Revitalizes Celebrex’s Ad Campaign
Sixteen months after halting advertising, Pfizer has revitalized their marketing campaign for the controversial painkiller, Celebrex. The goal is to increase sales of the drug which plummeted once the advertising stopped.
The new ad campaign, already launched in magazines, has consumer groups outraged. The groups maintain Celebrex is so dangerous that it should be pulled from the market. A harsh critic of drug makers feels the campaign is more evidence of the drug industry’s dependence on consumer advertising to boost sales.
Each ad for Celebrex has a bold warning that states, “Important information: Celebrex may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke that can lead to death.”
Pfizer stopped advertising for Celebrex in December 2004 following Merck’s recall of Vioxx, which is in the same drug class of pain relievers. Although the drug wasn’t banned, federal regulators ordered Pfizer to put a black-box label, the most severe warning, on Celebrex.
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Source: “Celebrex Ads are Back, Dire Warnings and All.” By Alex Berenson. The New York Times. April 29, 2006.