Pfizer has ended the advertising portion of its “Get Old” campaign and switched to PR via Edelman although its building at 235 E. 42nd St. (between Second and Third Aves.) is decorated with large-size ads for the campaign. 

Get Old campaign
Photos: Sharlene Spingler
The ad campaign, created by SS&K, asked people how they felt about getting older. More than 1,000 Americans 18 to more than 65 years of age were surveyed.

“We’re proud of the campaign we developed with Pfizer and the discussion it has generated about the evolving meaning of getting old,” said SS&K partner Mark Kaminsky, who noted the campaign has moved to “a mostly executional PR phase.”

The campaign did not involve any print or broadcast ads. It included a website that invited reader comments; events; posters, messages, and sets of seeded videos. There was social media outreach via Twitter and Facebook. Media placements will be sought.

Pfizer announced last January that Edelman had been picked in a competitive review to handle PR for the campaign. Other firms that have worked with Pfizer in recent years include Ruder Finn, Ketchum, Hill+Knowlton Strategies and Cohn & Wolfe. The Jeffrey Group handled Latin America PR.

Pfizer, Merck and other pharmaceutical companies have been in the spotlight in recent weeks following the publication of new guidelines for prescribing statins that could double the sales of them from $30 billion to $60B.

Seven companies make statins with the largest producers being Pfizer, Merck and Crestor. Atorvastatin, made by Pfizer and others, is generic Lipitor. Simvastatin, made by Merck and others, is about one-third the price.

The drugs lower cholesterol but some doctors, including Dr. David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, contend that a shortage of cholesterol can interfere with brain function. The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease has been rising in recent years. Another advocate of switching from grains to “healthy fats” is nutritionist Dr. Frank Lipman, who was featured in a Dec. 9 NYT article.

Get Old campaign
Get Old campaign
Get Old campaignGet Old campaign

Richard Edelman Discussed Aging

Edelman CEO Richard Edelman, in a blog posted June 5, 2013, discussed aging, emphasizing that he had no intention of retiring and would be active in the business as long as he lived, just like his father, Daniel Edelman.

The senior Edelman died Jan. 17 at the age of 92. Richard Edelman said his father retained a keen interest in the firm and that he spoke with him every day. Family members noted the senior Edelman read three newspapers daily.

“My father died in January with his boots on still perusing monthly financial reports,” he wrote.

The blog by Richard described a daily regimen that starts with jogging, push-ups and other exercises. “When I exercise, I sleep at night” he blogged.

He said the firm is working on the “Get Old” program of Pfizer which he described as “supporting candid conversations about aging and living better.”

Wrote Edelman: “We want to help inspire people of all ages to redefine what it means to Get Old, to break self-imposed and societal limitations, and discover a better quality of life at every age.”

He said aging can lead to the loss of physical abilities and a “gradual narrowing of interests and mental ability.”

But advises people to fight such developments by keeping a healthy lifestyle and going to new places and reading new authors.

“You work hard but you cannot live to work,” he concluded. “You live to love, to laugh, to give back and bring up the next generation with strong values.”

Drugs Said to Be Overprescribed

Media including full-length books, are focusing on what is said to be an over-prescription of drugs of many types.

A “20-year marketing campaign” has led the rise of drug sales for attention deficit disorder from $2 billion in 2002 to nearly $9B last year, according to a front page story in the Dec. 15 New York Times that occupied two full inside pages.

Chief makers of such drugs are Shire, which markets Adderall, Ciba-Geigy, which markets Ritalin, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Concerta.

“Brain Change,” a 90-minute special by Dr. Perlmutter, has been running on more than 110 public TV stations this month.

He believes that statins are being overprescribed and advocates a diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in the HDL form of cholesterol. Eggs are touted as an ideal food.