As it mentioned above regarding Zeneca’s decisions on DTC advertising campaign were not appropriate which raised some ethical social questions. In Zeneca, they did not educate health care professionals even they did not involved physicians and advocacy group in developing DTC campaign. As it mentioned earlier they had done some research before developing advertisement campaign. Although this research had presented more specific idea about the disease, its detection and treatment but they did not mention the drug information to consumer.
Zeneca did not want to disclose the full information regarding drugs benefits and risk in the advertisement campaign because if they disclose the information regarding drug’s side effects then women would be fear to use Nolvadex and company would not get desire results from advertisement. Nolvadex had some side effects which were rear from company’s point of view and the chances for these side effects were expected to occur less than one present.
But they did not mention the side effects in advertisement and they were taking all the decisions which were in their own favour that’s why Zeneca’s behaviour in advertisement campaign was totally unethical. Company had decided to use unbranded advertisement due to regulatory concerns with free toll number where patients could get information about breast cancer, drug and they can also order some materials like video and brochures with full information of breast cancer and drug benefits and risk.
But message in unbranded advertisement was mislead by women and more concern by activist groups. Zeneca had used incorrect and unethical assumptions about breast cancer in television advertisements, for instance “you can only get breast cancer if you have a family history or that the risk of breast cancer decreased with age” and “women were more interested in their body shape than their health”. These assumptions were criticized by FDA and some activist groups, which were corrected for the viewing audience.
Zeneca was failed to address above issues adequately and physicians were not eager to prescribe for healthy women. Zeneca’s advertisement is totally irresponsible and dangerous for several reasons. For instance in advertisement they did not properly mention what they are talking about and did not mention information regarding breast cancer and drug related information like drug benefits its usage and its risk which could frighten and mislead women into thinking that their risk was too high, causing them to get therapy which they did not need and could get serious side effects.
Also they did not take any responsibility regarding drug’s risks and no proper steps for protecting the confidentiality of patient information. They were taking all the steps in advertisement which were acceptable by regulatory but they were not looking the noise in whole communication process. They were irresponsible in making false assumptions and they were misleading because some women who saw the ad, they thought they would get information regarding their diet and exercise.
They had also highlighted breast cancer risk without presenting the actual risk statistic in print advertisement campaign. If they involved physicians, advocacy and activist groups in advertising campaign then it would had been increased the effectiveness of the drug and its advertisement and would had strong support. Also if they disclose the information regarding drug in more appropriate way then it could increase the physicians and patients trust towards drugs and they could develop successful DTC advertisement campaign. Conclusion
Although Zeneca had used different marketing strategies and communications tools but they could have done their advertisement campaign in more appropriate way. Due to the irresponsible advertising campaign they had to face lot of uncertainties from medical and regulatory point of view. Also they were failed to address the ethical issues which were raised in advertising campaign that’s why activist groups were against the Zeneca’s DTC advertising campaign. Recommendations for managing the activists’ protests There are some recommendations for Zeneca which could help to manage the protests of the breast cancer activists.