No the NFL won’t lose money over disappearing ED ads

KEY TAKEAWAY:Nearly 20 years after the FDA first approved its use as an ED remedy, Pfizer‘s Viagra is losing its patent exclusivity.  TV ads for both Cialis and Viagra are disappearing from NFL games but don’t worry the NFL is a marketing powerhouse and someone will take their place.

Ad sales bosses say that the disappearance of one of the NFL’s top 40 highest-spending advertisers is a function of Viagra losing its exclusivity in the face of the impending launch of a generic version of the brand. Teva Pharmaceuticals is set to roll out a far cheaper variant of the compound on Dec. 11. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] As generic Viagra becomes available it’s also likely that patients on Cialis will be asked to switch to generic Viagra or pay full retail price for Cialis.[/inlinetweet]

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]The real opportunity for both Cialis and Viagra is going to be as a possible OTC product[/inlinetweet].  If the FDA allows these medications to go OTC you can bet that there is going to be one hell of an advertising blitz, especially since fair balance won’t be needed.

As someone who was on the Cialis launch team I understand the ED audience and also know that ED is not a “man’s condition” it is a “couples condition”.  Viagra’s latest spots with sexy woman was far off-base and I am still scratching my head how packaging Viagra in single dose packets was “innovative”.

It’s also interesting to note that 50% of the TV audience for NFL games is female. The NFL is also fighting some ratings declines. Monday Night Football is down 24% from last year, Sunday Night Football is down 19% and Thursday night is down 18%.  But I wouldn’t worry too much the NFL still draws huge crowds and with new oncology TV ads appearing ever where I’m sure special packages will be offered to potential advertisers.