These videos worry pharma, "because there are no internal controls on YouTube," says Dorothy Wetzel, a former consumer-marketing chief at Pfizer and now senior VP-management supervisor at Saatchi & Saatchi, where she works on AstraZeneca accounts. "But you have to get used to it, because it's here to stay."
Doug Wood, an attorney at Reed Smith, a large law firm that reps many drugmakers, tells Advertising Age there's little pharma can do unless a company has been slandered.
But some are fighting back. GlaxoSmithKline now has its own one minute, 43-second video on YouTube for Restless Legs Syndrome. Wetzel believes more drugmakers and ad agencies will adopt such an approach. "The conversation about health care goes on," she tells Ad Age, "and we're going to have to deal with it."
But can the FDA deal with it?