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Executive Summary

OTC PRODUCT MFR. CORPORATE IDENTITY PROMOTION TO CONSUMERS may represent a successful approach to marketing consumer products as more Rx products move OTC, William Rosenberg, MD, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, suggested Sept. 20 at a symposium in New York sponsored by Channing, Weinberg. "It may well be that some company would find an advantage in promoting its own corporate identity or perhaps an identifiable kind of brand name that could carry over from one product to another," Rosenberg said. For example, he declared, "a consumer who recognizes some brand of nutritional supplement, laxative, analgesic, product for dry skin or the like might well look with favor on a recognizable sister product for one of the other indications." Rosenberg added that "the message here seems to me that the public will respond both to trusted company names and also to known brand names of formerly prescription items when those items become available OTC." Consumers often do not identify "favorite" products as being produced by one company, Rosenberg said, because those products may have been acquired over the years from other firms. "It is thus not surprising that the name of the product is pushed forward ahead of the name of the provider." But he added that "in an era when the name Ralph Lauren or Liz Clayborne can sell everything from jeans, to scarves, to scents, to pillow cases. . .why ]are[ our great corporate entities so diffident about their ability to develop the same kind of loyal following." Another potentially successful way an OTC product marketer can promote products is to "tie their OTC drugs to a sensible, understandable, and helpful educational message," Rosenberg maintained. "In my opinion," Rosenberg stated, "it is not enough anymore to tell consumers that laxatives should be taken only for occasional use and should not be relied upon regularly. The laxative package is a perfect place for some reasonable advice about the proper amounts and forms of fiber to include in a healthy diet and might not be a bad place, either, to mention the brand name of some fiber supplement in which the company had an interest."

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