Pharmaceutical Ad Agency
Semantic Advantage is a pharma PPC ads agency. We design and manage online promotions for drug manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. Our marketing firm provides advertising services for OTC and prescription drugs in accordance with FDA marketing regulations. In addition, these pharma pay-per-click ads and display advertising also conform to Bing and Google ad platform policies.
Pharma Pay-Per-Click Ad Management
In a major change to it’s Google Ads (formerly AdWords) search engine marketing policy, Google is now requiring that pharmaceutical product advertisers and affiliates managing SEM programs and PPC services obtain certification from the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) or Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) before placing PPC ads on AdWords. Previously the AdWords guidelines required only that pharma retailers and affiliates be verified by PharmacyChecker.com. Google’s new SEM advertising guidelines also restrict drug ads to the advertiser’s home country.
3 Types of Pharma PPC Ads
Search engine marketing firms offering pharma PPC ads management and other SEM services must comply with the guidelines of the Federal Drug Administration. The FDA oversees all print, radio, TV and online marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals. They divide ads into three categories, and each has separate requirements for benefits description and risk disclosure.
Product Claim Advertisements: Include the name of the drug (brand and generic) and one or more FDA-approved uses. Must also list the most significant risks of the drug, and must provide a balanced view of benefits vs. risks.
Reminder Ads: Give the name of the drug, but not the benefits or risks. Can not be used for drugs with serious risks (‘boxed warnings’).
Help Seeking Ads: Describe a disease or condition, and may name the drug manufacturer or pharmacy, but cannot name the drug or infer that their product has a remedial effect.
SEM-PPC Ads for Pharmaceuticals – Restrictions and Applications
Most online pharma PPC ads are developed by SEM services agencies on behalf of prescription drug retailers (vs. wholesalers or manufacturers). Search engine marketing services firms inherently prefer reminder ads. Mostly because these provide a direct path to a PPC sale. They also avoid the requirement for extensive risk disclosure. Hard to do this in 95 character pay-per-click ad. We’ve all seen TV product claim ads that go on at great length in gruesome detail about a drug’s potential side effects. Some of these make us wonder if the disease isn’t preferable to the remedy!
A smaller proportion of online ads for pharmaceuticals are funded by the drug manufacturers to create awareness of the disease (via help seeking ads) and remedial effects of their drugs (through product claim ads). These high dollar ad campaigns have been conducted primarily on TV, radio and print; although recently we have seen a significant increase in online display advertising and PPC services.
Conclusions and Recommendations for Online Drug Retailers and SEM Services Agencies
Google’s pharma ppc ads policy change will significantly reduce the number of illegal and misleading pay-per-click ads for prescription drugs. The new AdWords (now called Google Ads) program guidelines for pharmaceutical products pose significant challenges for affiliate advertisers and small retailers. Now they must go through the process obtaining certification by VIPPS or CIPA.
Google’s definition of a ‘pharmaceutical product’ is so broad that this new pharma PPC ads policy portends unintended consequences. It will make life difficult for legitimate SEM-PPC healthcare advertisers. And also retailers of non-drug products like medical devices, diet pills, natural supplements, and herbal remedies. A lot of innocuous pay-per-click ads will be disapproved initially. And the SEM firm will need to explain that it is not marketing a pharmaceutical product.
Over-the counter and prescription drug manufacturers and online retailers should confer with their PPC ad services company and legal advisors. They will need to review the impact on the new Google Ads policy on their overall SEM marketing strategy. Advertisers should review their current Product Claim-Reminder-Help Seeking ad mix, as well as pay-per-click ad content and targeting.
Online advertisers of natural remedies, herbal supplements, medical and drug-related services need to be alert to the possibility of ad rejection by AdWords. In most cases, they can successfully defend the ads as ‘non-pharmaceutical’.
Austin TX Pharma Ad Agency Experts
Semantic Advantage is a SEM-PPC ad agency in Austin TX. We help businesses design and implement effective SEM strategies and high ROI pay-per-click campaigns. For more information about SEM ad management and pay-per-click campaign optimization, contact Semantic Asvantage.