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Executive Summary

ANTI-GENERIC DRUG AD IN WALL STREET JOURNAL was placed by the New York and Minneapolis ad agency Girgenti Hughes Butler & McDowell as a way to increase its name recognition in the brand pharmaceutical sector. The quarter-page spot in the Sept. 29 issue of the business daily urges consumers to "tell your doctor and pharmacist you want your prescription to be for a brandname drug made by a manufacturer that is well known and trustworthy . . . It's your life and health on the line" ("The Pink Sheet" Oct. 2, "In Brief"). Although intended for one-time publication in the newspaper, the ad elicited such "a favorable response" from the brandname drug industry, it "probably will" be run again, the ad firm's President Steve Girgenti reports. The ad cost "under $ 10,000," he said, and was sponsored by the agency. Girgenti's recent client base in the drug business has included Riker, E. R. Squibb and the start-up firm Medicis. Annual billings in 1988 were estimated at about $ 15 mil. for the firm founded in 1986. Girgenti, who is a pharmacist, said the agency took out the ad because it believes in the message. The ad also was seen as a means for "creating awareness" among the industry about the firm. Individual manufacturers would be hesitant to take out similar ads based on the harsh Capitol Hill response to previous anti-generic promotion campaigns. The Journal put the ad right below an article on Merck.

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