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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 20434

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: Journal Article

Ferner R
A short history of pharmaceutical marketing
BMJ 2012 Nov 20; 345:e7801
http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e7801


Abstract:

Thomas Gainsborough’s painting Peasants Going to Market: Early Morning suggests these peasants have a fairly straightforward plan to sell their meagre baskets of produce, which they will not expect to make them wealthy. Ironically, the canvas was one of a collection amassed by Thomas Holloway, who made a fortune from patent medicines, adroitly using newspapers both for explicit advertising and as a vehicle for news stories of astounding cures.1 Unsurprisingly, he advocated the “Hollowayian System of Medicine,” encapsulated in the slogan, …

 

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As an advertising man, I can assure you that advertising which does not work does not continue to run. If experience did not show beyond doubt that the great majority of doctors are splendidly responsive to current [prescription drug] advertising, new techniques would be devised in short order. And if, indeed, candor, accuracy, scientific completeness, and a permanent ban on cartoons came to be essential for the successful promotion of [prescription] drugs, advertising would have no choice but to comply.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963