NFL Goes Soft On Erectile Drug Deals

The NFL will lose one promising major advertising category--erectile dysfunction drugs--next year, and this will affect all of the NFL television partners.

The NFL says it will stop selling the category--which brings in $6 million a year to the league--after its three-year deal with GlaxoSmithKline's Levitra expires this year.

Withdrawing the category won't prevent drug companies from advertising erectile dysfunction drugs on TV--but surely will slow down those revenues, says one analyst. Typically, big sports sponsorship deals push advertisers to also make major TV advertising deals.

ED drugs had been looked at a growing category with upwards of $200 million or more spent in advertising. ED brands made a major impact with TV ad revenues--and especially in the 2004 Super Bowl, where Janet Jackson's breast was mistakenly revealed.

In addition to the outcry over Jackson's stunt, Congressmen, regulators, and critics complained about ED advertising, during the Super Bowl game--a game that NFL now calls 'family' programming.

Initially marketed as products that correct medical problems, more recently, ED drugs have been marketed for sexual and lifestyle performance.



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