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According to Standard Media Index, pharmaceutical advertising is booming, while other category leaders continue to decline.

Expand chart
Data: Standard Media Index; Note: 2017 year-over-year data is through July; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

There are a few reasons for this:

  • Prescription ads generally target older audiences, which continue to be one of the top demographics for news. As news programming grows, the Pharma industry is taking advantage of that reach.
  • As baby boomers age, the audience for prescription drugs increases, which means the industry has more people to reach.
  • Pharma ads often cost more because of their length. (They have regulatory requirements to disclose side effects, dosages, etc., so they often need to take out 60-second ads as opposed to 30-second ads.)

Meanwhile, CPG spend cuts drive industry-wide declines: Agency reports of advertising losses in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail spaces is affecting the entire media, entertainment and advertising market, which used to rely on consumer package goods as one of its largest growth drivers.

  • WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell cited CPG losses as a part of its Q2 earnings misses. Sorrell says CPG makes up roughly a third of its revenue. Havas reported similar losses in the CPG category last quarter.
  • Some of the biggest consumer goods companies, like Procter and Gamble and Unilever, have been pulling back ad spend, particularly on digital, as a result of the overall economic volatility within the retail and packaged goods industries.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker
10 hours ago - Sports

Novak Djokovic loses Australian visa appeal

Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a forehand during a practice session ahead of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2022. Photo: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Tennis star Novak Djokovic left Australia on Sunday evening, facing a three-year visa ban after an appeals court in the country revoked his visa.

Driving the news: Djokovic will not be able to defend his Australian Open title when the tournament starts in Melbourne. The World No. 1 is looking to break a three-way tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most Grand Slam men's singles titles.