Publishing Group Offers Data That's Good For What Ails Pharma Plans

In an effort to court more ad dollars from pharmaceutical marketers, the Publishing Group of America has struck a deal with that will enable advertisers in its magazines to measure how well their audiences deliver consumers suffering from specific ailments and who are using prescription drugs to treat them. The deal with SDI Health, a firm that tracks actual prescription drug sales and compliance for the top 50 pharmaceutical companies nationwide, is believed to be the first to give advertisers and agencies the ability to index the coverage magazine titles have among those consumers.

Previously, PGA CEO-Publisher Dick Porter says media planners and brand managers had to rely on third-party surrogate data, such as Mediamark Research Inc., or Simmons Market Research Bureau, which conduct periodic surveys that simply ask consumers what kinds of drugs they are prescribed, and what magazines they read.

"What we're offering is accountability," he says, noting that the SDI data is based on actual purchase and usage behavior.

Not surprisingly, Porter says the SDI analysis shows that PGA's three titles - American Profile, Relish and Spry magazines - which reach 34 million readers in their local markets via partner newspapers that carry them, index very high among some ailments and prescription drugs.

Overall, the PGA titles have nearly a 15% penetration of sufferers across a broad range of conditions, but the coverage can soar for suffers of some of the most important pharmaceutical categories, including consumers being treated for asthma, depression, cholesterol and diabetes.

Under the agreement with SDI, all pharmaceutical ads in PGA's titles will be measured on three criteria - brand trial, product sales and prescription compliance - monthly at no charge to the advertiser.

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