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Windies ready to overcome tough build-up

first_imgMUMBAI, India (AP): WITH one day to go before his team faces England at the World Twenty20, West Indies captain Darren Sammy is ready to overcome a difficult build-up which has served up doping and selection problems. Kieron Pollard and Lendl Simmons were both ruled out with injury while Sunil Narine withdrew, needing more time to work on the suspect action, which means he is banned from bowling in international matches. Earlier this month, Andre Russell was reported to have missed three doping tests in the space of 12 months, a violation of anti-doping rules which equates to a positive test. Russell was not provisionally suspended, with the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission referring the case to the Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel. A date has not been set for the hearing, clearing Russell to play in India. “We are a team which always has a setback and we thrive on things like that,” Sammy said yesterday. “We as a team have supported Russell and we are confident that he will be taking part in the full tournament.” Narine and Pollard are both highly experienced players. “It’s always difficult to replace somebody like Narine or Pollard who has so much experience playing here,” Sammy said. “Yes we will miss them, but it creates an opportunity for somebody else to step up and play.” In Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Russell and Sammy, West Indies have one of the most destructive Twenty20 batting line-ups, four years after they won the title in Sri Lanka. “Obviously we know Chris is a massive figure, we have Bravo, Russell, Sammy, Jason (Holder) and Carlos (Brathwaite) that’s a lot of power,” Sammy said. As well as England, West Indies face Sri Lanka, South Africa and Afghanistan in Group One. Of England, he said: “(Jos) Buttler, (Ben) Stokes and their captain Eoin Morgan are good players, we won’t take them for granted; but if we do what we could do then you are going to be victorious.” England have failed to make it past the second round since winning in 2010. But Morgan said his players had a positive mindset after winning warm-up matches against New Zealand and a Mumbai Cricket Association XI. “We are in a really good place mentally,” Morgan said. “As long as we execute our plans and go about our business the way we normally do I think we’ll be in a stable position.” England have struggled in recent times against quality spin bowling, but Morgan did not expect spin to play a major role in the first two matches against West Indies and South Africa, both at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. England’s next matches against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka will be staged in New Delhi. “It’s normally a good batting surface here,” Morgan said. “It’s another challenge for a bowler to try and emphasise taking wickets and holding momentum throughout the innings.” England defeated Pakistan in the Twenty20 series on slow wickets in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year, but arrived in India after losing both T20s against South Africa last month. Morgan said England’s batsmen have learnt from their mistakes in South Africa and hope they will play with more positive intent in India. “We learnt a lot, particularly about our batting which stuttered a bit in South Africa,” he said. “We are a young and developing side and we will gain experience by playing smarter cricket.”last_img read more

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Dream come true for A’s golden-armed phenom

first_imgThere may be another movie on the horizon about the A’s unconventional way of uncovering talent, and this tale definitely is one for the digital age.The A’s this week signed 23-year-old Nate Patterson to a minor league contract and assigned him to their rookie level team in the Arizona Fall League. The deal was completed days after the right-hander from Tennessee was observed firing a few 96 mph fastballs.“How can you not be romantic about baseball” -Billy BeaneWords cannot describe this …last_img read more

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Brand South Africa launches new slogan

first_img5 July 2012Inspiring New Ways, Brand South Africa’s new slogan, was launched on Wednesday night along with an innovative television commercial filmed locally and abroad, at a candlelight dinner with some of the country’s most influential people across all fields, from sport to technology.This comes as a natural progression from the organisation’s previous slogan, “Alive With Possibility’, which was used to define the company’s role in marketing South Africa.Miller Matola, Brand South Africa’s chief executive officer, believes the 60-second commercial, unveiled with the new slogan on 4 July at The Theatre on the Track at Kyalami in Midrand, encapsulates the “can-do’ spirit of South Africans. He trusts that it will illustrate the determination of the country’s citizens to overcome obstacles and find new and better ways to get things done.The spirit of South Africans was captured in the ad. Instead of looking for a single example of this, the makers decided to get some well-known and not-so-well-known citizens to talk about it in their own words.Watch the advertIt begins with Baby Jake Matlala saying: “They told me I was too small’, and continues to feature other prominent figures before ending off with musician Toya Delazy and comedian Trevor Noah together saying: “We don’t think we change the world – we know.’Host of starsOther people in the ad are Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Natalie du Toit, Lucas Radebe, Brian Mitchell, Greg Minnaar, Trevor Rabin, John van de Ruit, Shaun Tomson, David Tlale, Khotso Mokoena, Colin Thornton, Oyama Matomela, Andile Dube, Andy Higgins, Tebogo Skwanbane, Nhkensani Nkosi, Emile Engel, Simon Ratcliffe, Zibusizo Mkhwanazi, and Fatima Vawda.Matthew Barnes, the executive creative director at Publicis, the agency that made the ad, said: “The mix of characters in the commercial was chosen from a long, long list. While some of the people we wanted to include were not available, we were extraordinarily fortunate to get some of the people who star in the final product.“We did not just go for people who have won world cups and major awards and trophies. We wanted to show a spread of people, demonstrating the breadth and depth of the South African can-do spirit,’ Barnes said.The team had to film at various locations in South Africa and in Los Angeles. The latter was to show some home-grown talent that had made it big internationally, such as Rabin. The musician became an international rock star with Rabbit and Yes; he now produces soundtracks for Hollywood movies. Others filmed in Los Angeles were Noah, the multi-lingual comedian; Tomson, who was at the top of world surfing for many years; and Minnaar, a multiple world mountain bike champion.Moses Semenya, the assistant direct at Catapult, which produced the commercial, said: “Whether we were filming at home or in the United States, we were struck by the humility and down-to-earth nature of the people we filmed and their absolute willingness to participate in the project and give something back to their country.’Turning negatives to positivesSemenya explained that to describe the ability of South Africans to find new ways of doing things, the first half of the commercial explores negatives, which are turned into strong positives and successes in the second half.The television commercial will be aired on ETV on 5 July about 8.30pm, before moving to SABC channels and MNET; then it will make its way on to international media. But this is only the beginning; the people in the commercial will later be featured in stand-alone segments.“Through this television commercial we want to get across the message that “Inspiring New Ways’ is an over-arching country position for South Africa relating to everything we do and that we are including our people, our culture and heritage, tourism, exports, governance and investment and immigration,’ Matola said.“Since our hugely successful hosting of the Fifa World Cup™ in 2010, our inclusion in the Brics [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] grouping of nations and in the G20, South Africa has matured a lot and come of age to a large degree.We are no longer an adolescent nation and this progression needs to be reflected in our brand identity and positioning.’Matola added that the South Africans featured in the ad characterised the quintessential spirit of the country as they found ways to realise their dreams and achieve their goals.“Whether it’s Baby Jake Matlala proving that he was not too small to become a world champion boxer, or Oyama Matomela becoming a commercial pilot at the age of 20, or astronomer Simon Ratcliffe who helped to bring the Square Kilometre Array project to our country, these people all portray the essential spirit of South Africa and South Africans.’The people featured in the ad had all found ways to get ahead, improve themselves and make a contribution to society, he added. “At Brand SA, we want to inspire all South Africans to play a role in shaping the future of our country.’The path since democracyInspiring New Ways, the slogan, was devised to reflect how far the country has come over the past few years since its democracy and the increasingly significant role it is playing in international affairs.South Africa has not only been the only African nation to host a football World Cup, but it has also become a leading force in the African Union, Southern African Development Community, New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Brics and G20.Nomsa Chabeli Mazibuko, Brand SA’s strategic marketing and communications director, said: “In many ways, we punch above our weight in international affairs and we also occupy a strong representative position on behalf of Africa, the developing world and emerging market economies.“We have our own challenges as a country, especially with regard to issues such as education, poverty, inequality and corruption, but we as South Africans have demonstrated that we will be inspired to find new ways to overcome these challenges.’More importantly, Chabeli Mazibuko said, Brand SA wanted Inspiring New Ways to be a slogan that was aspirational and created a vision of where people wanted to be.“The Inspiring New Ways slogan and television commercial is a call to action for South Africans to find new and better ways of doing things for the benefit of themselves, their communities and the country as a whole,’ she added.Entertainment at the launch included Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who performed three songs; Mi Casa, and a children’s choir. Chaka Chaka took her music to the floor as she walked through the crowd while singing, encouraging people to dance by grabbing some of them by the hand. They let loose after that and by the time Mi Casa went on stage, they swamped the dance floor without any encouragement from the band.Source: Brand South Africalast_img read more

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Team South Africa on song at Olympics

first_img3 August 2012Day six of the London Olympic Games was another successful one for Team South Africa as they added a third gold medal to their tally and produced more strong performances in the pool – with Chad le Clos setting himself up for another shot at Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly final.The gold medal won in rowing by the men’s lightweight fours was an unexpected but deserved reward for the University of Pretoria crew of Matthew Brittain, Lawrence Ndlovu, John Smith and James Thompson, who triumphed in a wonderfully tight race in which four teams were in with a shot at a medal right until the end.Their victory reminds one of Josiah Thugwane’s win in the men’s marathon in Atlanta in 1996. Few knew who he was when he captured gold, but now his name remains locked into the memories of South African sports fans. In a similar way, so too will the names of Brittain, Ndlovu, Smith and Thompson take on similar meaning and be remembered in South Africa from now on.What a champion doesIn the swimming pool, Chad le Clos continued to do what a champion does: raise his game when the chips are down.Contesting the semi-finals of the 100 metres butterfly, after having swum the fastest qualifying time in the heats of 51.54, a South African record, he looked out of the running after the first 50 metres of the second semi-final race, turning in fifth place.Yet, much like he did in snatching the gold in the 200m butterfly, he powered his way back towards the front over the final 50 metres.Still, he looked like he was in trouble and then somehow, after a furious finish, in almost a carbon copy of his victory in the 200m, he touched the wall first in a career best and South African record time of 51.42.This time there was no big celebration, just a nod to say job done, now for the final.Le Clos vs PhelpsLe Clos will once again take on Michael Phelps in the medal deciding race. The American, who claimed his 16th Olympic gold medal earlier in the evening in the 200m individual medley, was the fastest qualifier with an excellent time of 50.86 seconds. The 20-year-old South African’s time was second best.Phelps will be the favourite to add to his gold medal tally, but the thing with Le Clos is he keeps taking a step up and producing his best when it counts. Such is his belief in his abilities, and the belief of his supporters in those abilities, that it would not come as a surprise if he challenges Phelps for the gold again.To win, he will need to swim a faster first 50 metres and to finish like he did in the semi-finals. He could do it.50m freestyleTwo South Africans, Gideon Louw and Roland Schoeman, contested the semi-finals of the 50 metres freestyle.The first semi produced the faster of the two winnings times, with Cullen Jones and defending champion Cesar Cielo dead-heating in 21.54 seconds for the win. Louw touched in fifth place in 21.92.Brazil’s Bruno Fratus, with a powerful burst over the last 15 metres, took victory in the second semi in 21.63, ahead of George Bovell, who had been fastest in the heats.Roland Schoeman touched in fourth place in 21.88. That left him tied with Australia’s Eamon Sullivan for the seventh best time, giving him a place in the final for the third Olympics in succession. Louw, meanwhile, missed out on the final by one place.Roland SchoemanNow 32, Schoeman’s achievements are sometimes overlooked, but he is truly one of South Africa’s greatest swimmers ever. London 2012 is his fourth Olympic Games. His first were 12 years ago in Sydney when he made it to the semi-finals of the 50m freestyle.In 2004, at the Athens Olympics, he won a gold medal in the 4x100m freestyle, a silver in the 100m freestyle, and a bronze in the 50m freestyle. The following year he won World Championship titles in the 50m freestyle and butterfly. He is the short course world record holder in the 50m freestyle in a barely believable time of 20.30 seconds.Women’s 200m breaststrokeSuzaan van Biljon swam in the final of the women’s 200m breaststroke. It turned out to be the fastest race ever seen in that event.Van Biljon took it out strongly from the start and led after 50 metres, but there was going to be no stopping Rebecca Soni, who had set a world record of 2:20.00 in the semi-finals. She was out to become the first woman to break the 2:20-barrier.Soni turned first at 100m, but she was pushed far harder than in her semi-final. Van Biljon was in second, 0.41 behind the American.At 150m, Van Bijlon had slipped back to fourth and after 200 metres she ended in seventh place in 2:23.72. It had been a bold and brave effort from the South African in a race against a very strong field to take it out so fast. Ultimately it did not pay off.Soni, meanwhile, won gold and broke 2:20.00, touching the wall in 2:19.59, ahead of Japan’s Satoshi Suzuki, who equalled the Asian record in 2:20.72, and Iulia Efimova, who set a European record of 2:20.92.Karin Prinsloo was in action in the semi-finals of the 200m backstroke. She went out at a good pace, but was unable to hold onto her early position of third after 50 metres as she finished eighth in 2:11.74Women’s hockeyThe South African women’s hockey team remained winless after going down 2-0 to world number three Germany. Although the Germans enjoyed the better of the clash, Giles Bonnet’s charges put up stiff opposition.Had they been more composed in the final third of the field when on attack, with the final pass often looking as if it was hit more in hope than aimed at a specific player, it could have been an even closer match.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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SA to ensure health standards are met

first_img16 August 2012 South Africa’s National Health Amendment Bill, which will enable a number of measures aimed at improving the country’s health system, was approved by the National Assembly in Cape Town on Tuesday. Speaking at the second reading debate on the Bill, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said although success had been achieved in reducing the incidence of HIV/Aids and TB, the country still faced challenges with the effectiveness of the health system. The Health Department identified quality as one of the key areas in dealing with the issue effectively. As such, the new amended Bill has called for an Office of Health Standards Compliance to be established. The Office is modelled on the British Quality Care Commission, and will be made up of three units: an inspectorate, health ombudsperson and supply chain management and asset reconciliation. The inspectorate will be responsible for examining the country’s health facilities and it will be mandatory for every health facility to be inspected every four years. Problematic health facilities will be inspected as often to avoid deterioration. The department has sent 20 individuals to Britain to train as inspectors of South African facilities. Once a particular facility has been inspected, it will be graded on a scale of A to F, and a report will be subsequently released publicly. The second unit of the body will be a health ombudsperson. The public will be able to lodge complaints about negative experiences – including non-availability of drugs and long waiting times – encountered during their visits to health facilities. Motsoaledi said the department had by April this year trained at least 40 individuals and divided them into facility improvement teams. “They have been moving from district to district to help institutions to improve basic standards.” He added that 400 unemployed graduates in the finance, human resources and ICT fields have been divided into teams and dispatched to various provinces to help in supply chain management and asset reconciliation, among others. They started work in April. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

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7 Crucial Social Media Metrics and What They Mean

first_img Social Media Analytics This is a guest post by @LizaSperling, a social business professional in San Francisco, CA.If your eyes glaze over when considering the slew of social media metrics (SMM) companies are tracking, you are not alone. You could dedicate all of your time to chasing metrics, but you don’t have to. Just start here.Measure what can be measured: Some metrics cannot be calculated. The data is not consistently available or is horribly inaccurate.  Don’t waste your time chasing down the holy grail of metrics.Choose metrics that meet your business objectives: If you are using social media to respond to customer service inquiries, you will rely on different metrics than someone who is using social media for product insight. Metrics should evaluate your business objectives.Consider both the quantitative and the qualitative metrics: Qualitative metrics like sentiment and influence are admittedly imperfect, but they should not be ignored.  Social media, like any form of communication, is part science, part art. Start somewhere: Metrics require a baseline, so even those businesses that are just beginning to embrace social media should measure their efforts. If you hope to make social media an accepted part of any business, you must have metrics to evaluate the value of the investment.We’ll help breakdown what some of these metrics actually mean and offer you a few examples of tools that do a particularly great job at measuring that metric. Want a list of these tools for reference? See my Toolkit on oneforty.1. Volume is simply the absolute number of times a brand or keyword is mentioned over a given period of time.Tool: Alterian SM22. Share of voice is the comparison of the volume of mentions. For example the number of times Netflix is mentioned versus Hulu.  Brands often measure their share of voice relative to competitors, their products versus competitors’ products and overall industry mentions.  You can drill down to evaluate share of voice on Twitter versus Facebook or to track your share of voice during a campaign or product launch.Tool: Lithium SMM / Scout Labs3. Response time is how long it takes for a company to respond to an online mention.  This is most relevant for customer service-oriented social media strategies with a heavy reliance on Twitter. Many companies also focus on response or resolution rate to gauge not only how long it takes to respond to a mention, but also how long it takes to resolve an issue associated with the mention.  For example, if a customer tweets about an AT&T billing issue, AT&T may respond in 20 minutes asking for more information, but it may take an hour to resolve the customer’s billing issue and “close the ticket”.  Tools with workflow features and ticketing/assignment capabilities are optimal to track response-related activities (both internally and externally) for each mention.Tool: Radian64. Frequently used words are the words used in conjunction with your brand. How are people talking about your brand and products? Chances are that your customers will refer to your brand differently on Twitter than forums. Is your brand frequently mentioned when your competitor is mentioned? Knowing exactly the words used, on which channels and the degree of frequency of each word will ensure that you are monitoring the right keywords, crafting content suited to each medium, catching emerging memes, and speaking customer-centric language.Sysomos’ MAP tool offers the Buzzgraph, a way to track frequently used words around your brand. This sample is a Buzzgraph for Starbucks.Tool: Sysomos (Buzzgraph)5. Reach is the number of people who see a particular keyword or phrase. This value is an attempt to measure social media using traditional media metrics and terms like impressions and uniques. Admittedly, social media and traditional media do not lend themselves to an “apples to apples” comparison. One’s followers on Twitter do not necessarily indicate how many people are actually reading every tweet. Nevertheless, Tweetreach does a good job simplifying a calculation that is inherently murky and defines reach, or the total number of users who received a tweet, vs. exposure, or the total number of times tweets were received.  The report also breaks out how users engage (retweeting or @ replies) and which users contribute the most reach.Tool: Tweetreach6. Sentiment is the feeling or emotion of a particular mention. It is a qualitative measurement that will never be 100% correct – sarcasm, irony and slang make reading someone’s mind difficult in person, and even more so online. So why bother?  Sentiment puts quantitative metrics like volumeand share of voice in context. AT&T may have more volume than T-Mobile, but if the mentions are largely negative, AT&T may consider their share of voice an unimportant metric.A sentiment algorithm with at least 70% accuracy will save you the time required to read, interpret and hand score every mention. Be sure that you choose a tool that: 1) Determines sentiment on a key word specific vs. document specific level, i.e. identifies the sentiment of the keyword in the context of the document rather than the sentiment of the entire document; 2) Offers you and the ability to override the machine score; and 3) Is a learning algorithm that improves over time based on users’ corrections. Not every mention is positive, negative or neutral, so you may also consider tools that extract quotes that indicate wishes, caveats and comparison. Tools: Attensity360, Lithium SMM/Scout Labs (Quotes)7. Influence is who or what is driving actions, including purchasing decisions, brand awareness, adoption of behavior, etc…Like sentiment, influence is imperfect, but it is nevertheless a key to determining if your efforts are driving action or falling on deaf ears.Tools: Klout and TwitalyzerAgain, for a complete list of these social media metrics tools check out my Toolkit on oneforty to guide you as you explore. And give us your take in the comments: What tools do you like to get these metrics? What analytics are particularly important for your brand? We’d love to hear from you. Topics:center_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Aug 16, 2011 2:11:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more

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Say ‘Yes’ to Drugs? The History of Pharmaceutical Marketing

first_img History of Internet Originally published Oct 1, 2014 6:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Mom, I know you might have freaked out a bit when you read that headline. But don’t worry! The whole “Say ‘Yes’ to Drugs” bit isn’t me advocating for drug use: I’m just making a tongue-in-cheek reference about pharmaceutical marketing messages.Ultimately, pharmaceutical companies do want consumers to say “yes” to drugs — their drugs.And, as you’re about to discover, these companies have used a variety of marketing tactics over the years in order to get consumers to say “yes.” Now — to be sure — this is a heavily debated subject, especially when we hone in on direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing (which will be the main focus of this article). And all I mean by “direct-to-consumer” is that marketers aren’t appealing to doctors or health care organizations with their marketing messages: They’re targeting people/patients directly.With the direct-to-consumer approach, pharmaceutical companies aren’t saying, “Hey, doctors, this drug would be great for your patients!” Instead, they’re saying,”Hey, patients, this drug is great! Go tell your doctors about it!”Direct-to-Consumer Drug Ads: Evil or Informative?From the viewpoint of the pharmaceutical companies, direct-to-consumer marketing is advantageous for consumers. They argue that it helps to educate patients about different drug options, it encourages patients to get in touch with — and have a dialogue with — health care providers, and it helps to reduce the under-diagnosis (and under-treatment) of medical conditions.Detractors would counter, however, that direct-to-consumer marketing often leaves patients misinformed, that it over-emphasizes the benefits that drugs provide, and that it leads to the unnecessary prescribing and over-utilization of drugs. Furthermore, the opposition contends that this type of marketing can strain patient/doctor relationships. (Just imagine someone watching a 30-second commercial and then trying to convince a doctor — with 30 years experience — that taking X drug is the best course of action.)So, which side is correct in their assessments of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing? That’s not for me (or this article) to say. Instead, I’m going to focus on the history of pharmaceutical marketing, and explore how we went from simple print ads to the side effects-filled TV spots that we know (and mock) today.But first, here’s a quick breakdown of the different types of drug ads that pharmaceutical companies produce. Getting familiar with these ad types will help you better understand how (and why) the government would eventually start regulating pharmaceutical marketing.Types of Drug AdsToday, the FDA recognizes three specific types of drug ads: Help-seeking ads, reminder ads, and — the most common variety — product claim ads.Help-Seeking AdsEver see one of those drug commercials where the voiceover narration doesn’t really talk about the actual drug, but instead focuses on describing the symptoms of a condition? Then, at the end, it encourages you to talk to your doctor? That’s your classic help-seeking ad.When produced correctly, help-seeking ads don’t make any claims about the efficacy of a drug or about the benefits a drug provides. And, for that reason, the FDA doesn’t regulate them. That means help-seeking ads aren’t required to list out risks or side effects.Reminder AdsAccording to the FDA, reminder ads can include information about how strong a drug is, how much it costs, and what dosage form it comes in (e.g. pill, spray, inhaler, etc.). However, the ads cannot include any information about what a drug does or how it works. This is the case for both words and images.For example, if you were creating a reminder ad for a heart medication, you couldn’t show an image of a heart, as that would imply what the drug does. Like help-seeking ads, reminder ads aren’t required to list risks or side effects.**With the exception of particular prescription drugs with serious risks, like serious injury or death. These drugs always have to display a warning (called a “boxed” or “black box” warning).Product Claim AdsThese are the drug ads we all know and love … or hate … or love to hate? Whatever the case, product claim ads have three critical components:The name of the drug, both its brand name and its generic name. (Fun, slightly random fact: While many of us use the term “Dramamine” to refer to a generic motion-sickness medication, it’s actually a brand name. The generic name is “dimenhydrinate.”)An FDA-approved use for the drug.Significant risks.Ever wonder why those product claim commercials you see on TV are always chock-full of side effects? They have to be. As the FDA’s website tell us, “Product claim ads must present the benefits and risks of a prescription drug in a balanced fashion.”Of course, that wasn’t always the case …The “Good” Ole DaysAs it turns out,  the good ole days of pharmaceutical marketing really weren’t all that good … at least not for consumers.Up until the early 1900s, drug companies (and, ya know, random people) could concoct crazy formulas, patent them, and then market them however they’d like. There was zero regulation.Want to take out an ad in the local newspaper or put up a billboard that claims your magic tonic can cure cholera, diphtheria, dysentery, measles, and rattlesnake bites? (All ailments found along the Oregon Trail, by the way.) Prior to 1906, you could totally do it. And people did do it. Unfortunately for the people living back then, wasting money on a drug that turned out to be ineffective wasn’t necessarily the worst of their problems: these unregulated drugs often contained high levels of alcohol, morphine, or other substances — like mercury and formaldehyde — that could cause serious harm.1905: The Great American FraudAt some point someone had to call B.S. on all those snake oil-salespeople masquerading as medicine makers. Luckily, our free press came to the rescue. Toward the end of the 19th century and into the early 20th century, journalists began tackling industries that posed a threat to the American public. Unsurprisingly, they soon turned their attention to patent medicines.One series in particular, “The Great American Fraud,” would be instrumental to the eventual passing of regulatory legislation for patent medicines. Journalist Samuel Hopkins Adams wrote the series (comprised of 11 articles) for Collier’s Weekly in 1905.As you can glean from the excerpt below, Adams had some serious misgivings about how the unregulated patent medicine market operated:”Gullible America will spend this year some seventy-five millions of dollars in the purchase of patent medicines. In consideration of this sum it will swallow huge quantities of alcohol, an appalling amount of opiates and narcotics, a wide assortment of varied drugs ranging from powerful and dangerous heart depressants to insidious liver stimulants; and, far in excess of all other ingredients, undiluted fraud.”Fortunately for the American public, “The Great American Fraud” would go on to attract the attention of a member of the Department of Agriculture, who then pushed Congress to act.1906: Purification ProclamationCongress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, thanks — in part — to the journalism of Samuel Hopkins Adams.To be sure, many other journalists (and activists and politicians) played a role. The most well-known of which is probably Upton Sinclair, who tore down the meat-packing industry in his novel The Jungle.The Pure Food and Drug Act forbade, and I quote, “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated or misbranded or poisonous or deleterious foods, drugs or medicines, and liquors.”It also established federal drug purity levels, and required that manufacturers list a drug’s active ingredients on its packaging.**The labeling was only mandatory for specified substances/ingredients, including heroin, morphine, cocaine, alcohol, and marijuana. These substances were all still legal at the time, provided drug companies labeled them appropriately.1911: United States v. JohnsonSo it turns out the nice people who wrote the Pure Food and Drug Act forgot to include that bit where it becomes illegal to lie about the benefits a drug actually provides.There was a Supreme Court case to determine whether or not making “false therapeutic claims” about a drug was legal under the Pure Food and Drug Act.Ultimately, the Court ruled in favor of making outrageous, unsubstantiated claims. (Yay, America!) It noted that the Pure Food and Drug Act only forbade drug companies from lying about a drug’s ingredients; lying about a drug’s benefits was still totally cool.Hence, the ad below was 100% legal when it was published in a newspaper a few years earlier in 1908.1912: “Don’t Worry, We Got This” — CongressIn response to the United States v. Johnson case, Congress passed the Sherley Amendment in 1912, which prohibited false therapeutic claims on drug labeling.However, there was one, major caveat: To enforce the amendment, the government needed to be able to prove fraudulent intent. And that’s a tricky landscape to navigate.How can you distinguish between companies that are lying about their drugs but think they’re telling the truth, and companies that are lying about their drugs and know they’re lying?1927: FDA in the USAIn 1927, the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry split into two separate agencies: the Bureau of Chemistry and Soils, which handled research, and the Food, Drug, and Insecticide Administration, which handled regulations.(Don’t worry, they dropped the “Insecticide” a few years later and became the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA.)1938: So Long, SherleyWith the passing of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938, the Sherley Amendment requirement to prove fraudulent intent got the chop. Drug fraud was drug fraud, be it intentional or otherwise.The legislation also gave the FDA the authority to regulate drugs. Moving forward, before a company could start marketing a new drug, they’d need to get the FDA to approve its safety.1962: Some Big ChangesCongress passed the Kefauver-Harris Drug Amendments in 1962. As a result, there were some big changes to the world of pharmaceutical marketing.Big Change #1: Drug companies now had to prove the effectiveness — and not just the safety — of their drugs before they could bring them to market. And, after conducting clinical studies in order to prove effectiveness, they had to disclose any serious side effects. It was up to the FDA to review the clinical studies and approve new drugs before they could be marketed.Big Change #2: The FDA took control of regulating prescription drug advertising and labeling. (FYI: The Federal Trade Commission regulates over-the-counter drug advertising and labeling.)Big Change #3: Drug companies could no longer market cheap generic drugs as expensive, “cutting-edge” drugs under new brand names. Prior to this change, you could have — for example — taken some acetylsalicylic acid (a.k.a. aspirin), given it a fancy new name like “Xylophonafilaflox,” and then marketed it as a new, breakthrough pain medication.These changes would help set the stage for the modern era of regulating pharmaceutical marketing. However, the FDA still had to finalize a few things …1969: Laying Down the LawIn 1969, the FDA made some final stipulations in regards to how pharmaceutical companies could market their drugs. There were four “commandments” total, which stated that prescription drug ads must:Not be false/misleadingDescribe the drug’s risks and benefits in a fair and balanced wayInclude facts that are relevant to the drug’s advertised use(s)Include a summary that mentions all of the risks that are listed on the drug’s labelAt this point, it seemed like the FDA had everything under control: There were solid regulations in place that prevented drug companies from lying about or otherwise misrepresenting the safety and efficacy of their drugs.However, when the 1980s rolled around, a new era of pharmaceutical marketing began to emerge.1981: The Times They Are A-Changin’Prior to the 1980s, debates surrounding the FDA’s regulation of prescription drugs were concerned primarily with indirect advertising (e.g. sales reps recommending drugs to doctors, or drug companies funding continuing education programs). After all, the days of peddling unregulated potions to consumers were, presumably, over. For all intents and purposes, the Pure Food and Drug Act — and its subsequent amendments — had meant the end of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing.By the 1980s, however, political and cultural changes would help bring direct-to-consumer marketing back into the limelight. According to an article in the peer-reviewed medical journal Pharmacy and Therapeutics, the 1980s saw a political climate that was “more favorable to the pharmaceutical industry,” as well as a cultural shift that “caused patients to start actively participating in medical decision-making with their health care providers.”As a result, the drug companies start going direct.Merck ran the first major, (modern) direct-to-consumer print ad in Reader’s Digest in 1981. The ad promoted its new antipneumococcal vaccine, Pneumovax.FYI: the image above is a more modern print ad for Pneumovax — I wasn’t able to track down the original ad from 1981.1983: TV Takeover, FDA MakeoverIn 1983, Boots Pharmaceuticals ran the first ever direct-to-consumer TV ad for a prescription drug. The ad promoted the lower price of the drug Rufen, which was its brand of ibuprofen (ibuprofen would later become an over-the-counter drug). Like Merck, Boots Pharmaceuticals was also running direct-to-consumer print ads during this time. And, across the board, drug companies were seeing sales increase as a result of their direct approach.In response to these changes, the FDA asked the drug companies to observe a “voluntary moratorium” on running direct-to-consumer ads so it could re-examine how pharmaceutical marketing should be regulated.1985: New Rules, New TacticsIn a notice published in the Federal Register in 1985, the FDA established that it had regulatory jurisdiction over this new breed of direct-to-consumer drug ads. What’s more, the FDA made clear that its stipulations about providing a fair and balanced account of a drug’s risk/benefits and including a brief summary of potential side effects still applied.From a print standpoint, this wasn’t a big deal at all: Marketers could simply list out risks and side effects in small print at the bottom of an ad.But for radio ad and TV, buying enough ad time to include all of this mandatory information posed a problem. As a way around this, drug companies in the 1980s started creating reminder ads and help-seeking ads, which — if you remember from earlier — weren’t subject to the FDA’s regulations.1990: Spending Check In 1990, the pharmaceutical industry spent a total of $47 million on direct-to-consumer marketing.1995: 5 Years Later …In 1995, the pharmaceutical industry spent a total of $340 million on direct-to-consumer marketing.Also in 1995, the FDA held a meeting to discuss lessening the regulations around radio and TV ads. (The main issue here was one I mentioned earlier: including all of a drug’s risks and side effects ate up lots of time and money when running radio or TV spots.)1997: Now With Fewer Side Effects!1997 brought some good news for pharmaceutical marketers, and some bad news for consumer groups: In response to industry concerns over radio and TV ads, the FDA relaxed its stance on side effects.While mentioning a drug’s side effects in radio and TV ads was still required, going into extensive detail about those side effects was not. These new guidelines effectively negated the 1969 stipulation that drug ads must mention all of a drug’s risks.As of 1997, direct-to-consumer drug ads on the radio and TV only have to mention a drug’s major risks and provide an “adequate provision” to direct consumers to where they can find more information.1998: Spending CheckIn 1998, the pharmaceutical industry spent a total of $1.2 billion on direct-to-consumer marketing.2004: More Love for Pharma MarketingThe FDA extended its “major risks only” policy to print ads in 2004. As was the case with radio and TV ads, this meant that pharmaceutical marketers no longer needed to include all of a drug’s risks in direct-to-consumer newspaper and magazine ads. The change also allowed pharmaceutical marketers to use more simplified language, so ads would be easier for consumers to understand.Also in 2004, a New York Times article shed some light on how much ad revenue prescription drug ads were generating for the three big networks: ABC, CBS, and NBC. Turns out that from January to September of 2004, nearly 29% (or $110 million) of all ad revenue came from drug ads that aired during the nightly news.2005: Paging Dr. InternetA 2005 study of more than 6,000 adults showed that nearly 49% of patients would research a potential ailment or medical condition online first, and then consult their doctor. In contrast, only 11% consulted their doctor first.Clearly, the internet was revolutionizing how consumers got their information, including medical information.The pharmaceutical companies were by no means oblivious to this fact, as online search and display ads for prescription drugs were growing more and more popular during this time.2007: Spending CheckIn 2007, the pharmaceutical industry spent a total of $5 billion on direct-to-consumer marketing.Also in 2007 — as part of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 — pharmaceutical marketers had to start including a mandatory statement in all of their direct-to-consumer print ads:”You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit MedWatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.” 2009: FDA 2.0The FDA took on online drug advertising in 2009, sending out more than a dozen warning letters to pharmaceutical companies who were buying up sponsored search engine links. These sponsored links (a.k.a. search ads) typically included the name of a drug, what it treated, and what its benefits were. Notably absent? Risk and side effect information. From a practical standpoint, there just wasn’t enough space in a search ad to include it.In response, the FDA ruled that sponsored links now had to include either the name of the drug or what it was used for, but not both.For more information on the 2009 crackdown on sponsored links, check out this article from Search Engine Land.Also in 2009, direct-to-consumer marketing spending for the pharmaceutical industry dropped for the first time since the late 1990s — from $5 billion in 2007 to $4.5 billion. This was largely due to the 2008 financial collapse and resulting economic slowdown.2011 – Present: Direct-to-Consumer ContinuesData from a 2011 Pharmacy and Therapeutics article shows that online direct-to-consumer marketing delivers a 5 to 1 return on investment, which is a better ROI than what traditional channels (like TV and print) can offer pharmaceutical marketers.However, that’s not to say that traditional channels are dead. For example, according to that same article, the typical American TV viewer sees as many as 9 drug ads per day. That comes out to about 16 hours of watching direct-to-consumer drug ads on TV per year.If it were up to the people who actually prescribed the drugs being marketed, however, it’d likely be a different story.According to a 2013 survey of 140 physicians, 71% of physicians believe that direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing should be either scaled back or eliminated altogether. Furthermore, 74% said that the direct approach over-emphasizes drug benefits, while 63% said that it misinforms patients.Though doctors don’t love direct-to-consumer marketing, it probably won’t go away anytime soon. Based on how successful direct-to-consumer drug ads have been for pharmaceutical companies — and how relatively lax the regulation has been on the ads in recent years — it seems like direct-to-consumer marketing is here to stay.Want to learn how to give your traditional marketing strategy a modern update? Download our free guide, Inboundy Outbound: How to Do Traditional Marketing the Inbound Way.Image credits: Public domain, I Love Graphics, 100 Years Ago Today, Ad Pharm Blog, ProCon.orgThis blog post has provided information designed to help our readers better understand the legal issues surrounding the pharmaceutical industry. But legal information is not the same as legal advice — the application of law to an individual’s specific circumstances. Although we have conducted research to better ensure that our information is accurate and useful, we insist that you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is accurate. To clarify further, you may not rely upon this information as legal advice, nor as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular legal understanding, and you should instead regard this article as intended for entertainment purposes only. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:last_img read more

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A Visual History of Apple Ads: 4 Decades in the Making

first_imgApple started advertising in 1976, and for nearly 39 years since, we have watched the evolution of Apple ad campaigns. From print ads to TV commercials, Apple ads have made us laugh, made us cry, and made us wonder, “What were they thinking?”As an Apple enthusiast and former employee, it was fun to research and write this post. I have been using Apple products for nearly 25 years, and I vividly remember a good portion of these ads. Let’s take a journey back in time and experience the evolution of Apple and its ad campaigns.A Visual History of Apple AdsThe 1970sThe very first ad that Apple ran was in 1976 for the Apple 1. It looked more like a flyer or a newsletter than an ad. It was quite text heavy with very little imagery. Speckled with a lot of text bolding, it looked like they wanted to cover every inch of available space. So much for the rule of using whitespace as a design element.(image Courtesy of macmothership.com)Another infamous ad that ran in 1979 was titled “The Garden of Eden”. I have to admit, this ad made me laugh-out-loud when I saw it. It has to be one of Apple’s worst ads in history.Once you get past the graphic (yes,it is a naked man holding an Apple computer), check out the competition’s rules: Tell the company what you do with your Apple “in a thousand words or less.” A thousand words! Apparently, the winner won a trip for two to Hawaii. I’d love to meet the two that won this trip!(image Courtesy of macmothership.com)The 1980sThe ads in the 80’s weren’t much better. They were also text heavy and light on images.They tried to convince consumers that they needed a computer, especially an Apple computer. Apple used acclaimed inventors like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Ben Franklin for these ad campaigns.(image Courtesy of globalnerdy.com)This commercial ad ran in 1981 and really made me laugh. It is quite dated, and I love how the woman in the ad is avoiding talk show host Dick Cavett’s questions. Cavett plays a chauvinist pig asking the little wifey how she likes using her Apple to manage the household budget and store her recipes.Turns out, she’s trading gold futures. As Cavett deadpans his way through the script, she delivers the payoff: “I also own a small steel mill.” This commercial ad was funny and engaging – but at this point Apple is five years old and there is still no sense of style about the brand.In 1984, Apple aired its infamous super bowl ad “1984”. It adopts from George Orwell’s tale to suggest that Apple users could smash the PC oligarchy with the new Apple computer. While the product launch was significant, the ad itself, frankly, still didn’t have that “Apple” feel to it.The 1990sThe shift in Apple ads really came in the 1990’s with the “Think Different” ad campaign. This  ad campaign became very popular because it featured famous people. With the launch of the iMac in the 90’s, Apple’s advertising shifted away from the text heavy ads and became much more artistic and focused more on the product itself. Think Different also became the new slogan for Apple. To this day, this ad campaign is one of my very favorites.(Photo Courtesy of moinid.com)  (Photo Courtesy of apple-phone.ru.com)The 2000sThe year of 2005 brought us the popular iPod silhouette ads. They used a silhouette dancing to the music of the iPod, the backgrounds were very colorful and eye-catching. According to Business Insider, Steve Jobs did not like this ad campaign initially. He eventually came around to liking the advertisements, but only after the agency continued to push back. It wasn’t the first time that Jobs initially disliked what would later become an iconic advertisement, and it wouldn’t be the last either.In 2006 Apple brought us the Mac versus PC campaign, starring John Hodgman as a PC and Justin Long as a Mac. These commercials did a great job of depicting both the PC user and the Mac user. The campaign as a whole had a consistent feel to it, always shot on a white background.The man dressed in casual clothes would introduce himself as a Mac, and the man dressed in a suit and tie would introduce himself as a Windows Personal computer. The commercials were humorous and engaging. This was Apple’s longest running campaign so far, running for three consecutive years.The newest advertisement to date debuted ahead of the Grammy Awards Ceremony on February 8th, 2015. The commercial was titled “Change” to highlight just how easy it is to record music on the iPad. The ad has a frenetic pace, which differs from most of the company’s other spots. It was filmed entirely on an iPad.It is just another way that Apple is demonstrating through their technology how a product can be used for every aspect of creating a project, from writing and recording music, to actually filming.The future ad campaign that I am looking forward to seeing is the campaign for the much-anticipated iWatch. I wonder what approach Apple will take? Will it touch at our heartstrings? Will it make us laugh?  I can’t wait to find out. Originally published Mar 27, 2015 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Visual Content Topics: The 1990’s also brought bright colors to Apple’s line-up of computers. The iMac was available in five vibrant colors as well as the newest line up of laptops, the infamous iBook. These bright colors made for some very vibrant ads that were cheery and fun. At that time, every young person and college student wanted an iMac in the color that matched their personality. Don’t forget to share this post! 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