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savafan
01-09-2006, 12:12 PM
Thus ends some of the more humorous moments on Superbowl Sunday.


http://adage.com/news.cms?newsId=47382

January 09, 2006
QwikFIND ID: AAR29C
By Rich Thomaselli

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The national football league plans to cut its ties with erectile-dysfunction drug ads, highlighting growing concerns about increasingly risqué creative in the category and leaving manufacturers with a dearth of major sports marketing platforms for their brands.

$18 million
The League has decided not to renew its $18 million sponsorship agreement with Levitra when the three-year deal expires on March 31 and will, in fact, distance itself from ED ads altogether. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, “We do not have plans to secure a sponsor in this category.”

This is a blow to Schering-Plough, which co-markets Levitra in the U.S. with Bayer, and to their ED drug rivals, all of which have used televised sports as a way to communicate their message to American men in a context that helps reduce any stigma attached to taking the pills.

The NFL in particular seemed a perfect home for their ads: Football is the most popular team sport in the country, has the highest TV ratings and has a male-skewing audience. Two years ago, both Levitra and Eli Lilly’s Cialis advertised on the Super Bowl.

Provocative ads
But, to the dismay of critics, the content of the advertising changed from addressing the issue of impotence to a more sexy, provocative feel. The erectile dysfunction category has been a lightning rod for criticism of direct-to-consumer advertising from the public and politicians.

“When we began [sponsorship in] the category it was a men’s health issue,” an NFL executive said. “The marketing and advertising took a different direction in the entire category.”

The league signed the deal with Levitra in August of 2003, and initial advertising included a separate campaign called “Tackling Men’s Health,” which featured former NFL coach Mike Ditka.

Sports deals dwindle
ED drug marketers have a few remaining sports-sponsorship deals. Cialis sponsors a golf tournament on the PGA Tour and Viagra is a partner of Major League Baseball, sponsoring the Comeback Player of the Year awards, (which prompted San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler to opine, “I’d love to see that trophy.”)

John Brody, Major League Baseball’s senior VP-corporate sales and marketing, said the league was happy with its Viagra partnership and hopes it can expand in the future. “We’ve had a number of meetings with Pfizer on how to work within the framework” of a new Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America code of conduct, Mr. Brody said. “But we want to work with them. The category -- and I want to emphasize that we don’t believe this is true of our partner -- has changed a bit in its advertising creative. ... But we entered this partnership believing ED is a men’s health and wellness issue, and we still believe that and still believe Pfizer portrays it as such.”

Viagra and Nascar
Pfizer’s Viagra had also been the main sponsor for Nascar driver Mark Martin since 2000 before ending the sponsorship after the 2005 season. Nascar said it is up to individual teams to decide whether an ED drug sponsorship is right for them.

Neither the National Hockey League nor the National Basketball Association have ED sponsorships.

NFL spokesman Mr. McCarthy said the NFL’s Web site and TV networks that air pro football games will still be free to accept ads from the category. But it seems doubtful ED ads will run on those platforms. The PhRMA guidelines include one that states, “DTC television and print advertisements should be targeted to avoid audiences that are not age appropriate for the messages involved.” That would all but prohibit ED drug ads on TV until late evening hours and makes Web ads for the drugs a tricky proposition.

NFL and other drugs
Mr. McCarthy stressed that the NFL is not shying away from pharmaceutical partners. The league reversed a self-imposed ban on health-care sponsorship and advertising in 2003 and, in fact, has open categories in seven of the eight areas it initially identified as acceptable: allergies; cholesterol reducers; dermatology; diabetes; gastrointestinal; hair renewal and growth; and prostate medication. The eighth was erectile dysfunction.

Redsland
01-09-2006, 12:27 PM
This is a blow...
:ughmamoru

Unassisted
01-09-2006, 01:36 PM
Such an irony that the NFL chose to ban this product when it stiffened its ad rules.

RedFanAlways1966
01-09-2006, 01:40 PM
Related news...

Rafeal Palmeiro, when asked about this, emphatically pointed a finger toward reporters as he spoke. Palmeiro stated that "I have never used erectile-dysfunction drugs."

This news caused a lot of older men to really wonder what is in those Miguel Tejada B-12 syringes and a lot of women to wonder how big they really make those athletic cups worn by ballplayers.

traderumor
01-09-2006, 02:11 PM
I thought that was what the cheerleaders were for :confused:

And the "get lucky" beer commercials

I dunno, the ED ads aren't any worse than all the other risque stuff that gets air time during an NFL game

macro
01-09-2006, 04:42 PM
I have no reason to believe that their reasoning is the same as the NFL, but Mark Martin's #6 car will be switching from this...

http://www.jayski.com/schemes/2004/cup/6white-diecast.jpg
...to this for the 2006 season...

http://www.jayski.com/schemes/2006/cup/6aaa-front.jpg

guttle11
01-09-2006, 04:49 PM
I have no reason to believe that their reasoning is the same as the NFL, but Mark Martin's #6 car will be switching from this...

http://www.jayski.com/schemes/2004/cup/6white-diecast.jpg
...to this for the 2006 season...

http://www.jayski.com/schemes/2006/cup/6aaa-front.jpg


He better not hit the wall. His car won't be nearly as stiff as he is used to.

On a semi-related note, why are Viagra pills blue?

GAC
01-09-2006, 09:49 PM
What is erectile dysfunction anyway? Do men actually have this problem?

RFS62
01-10-2006, 12:00 AM
What is erectile dysfunction anyway? Do men actually have this problem?


I was wondering that myself.

cincinnati chili
01-10-2006, 12:55 AM
The NFL is boycotting Eric the Red?

ED should sue.