Last Updated Sep 9, 2009 5:05 PM EDT
Have you noticed that the new alli ads on TV and on the www.myalli.com web site have changed?Mack claims that the side effect is so downplayed that if it were a prescription product it would fall afoul of FDA guidelines. Alli is available without a prescription, giving TBWA a lot more leeway in making claims for the drug.
Specifically, there is no direct mention of the "horrendous side effect" (ie, anal leakage). In addition, product claims are enhanced.
GSK launched Alli with an upfront campaign that tackled the bowel control issues head-on. But sales of the product did not take off as hoped. So GSK switched marketing chiefs and under new boss Karen Scollick Alli's brand voice took on a more appearance-oriented inflection.
There were some signs that the push was working -- sales of Alli have been up recently. But in August the FDA warned it was looking into reports of liver damage associated with the drug. That's a Damocles' sword hanging over this brand. If those reports turn out to be serious, then TBWA's efforts on Alli will be for naught.
In the meantime, it appears that TBWA's advertising for Alli will be going for the hard sell in favor of the minor details.
- GSK to Alli Users With Liver Damage: "This Might Be Your Fault, Fatty"
- FDA Warning Ushers GSK's Alli Toward Graveyard of Failed Obesity Products
- The FDA Gives GSK a New Way to Tout Alli
- GSK and Centocor Abandon Their Pioneering Corporate Drug Blogs
- GSK Signs Wynonna Judd to Endorse Alli, Its Flagging Weight Loss Drug
- GSK's Alli Diet Drug Has Problems With Your "Fat Friend"