Rise in Health Ads Predicted

Health and medical advertising online will grow to more than $265 million by 2002, according to a report by Jupiter Communications. Health and medical advertising on the Internet accounted for $12.3 million in 1997.

Approximately half of the $265 million is expected to come from pharmaceutical direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising. DTC advertising on the Web will allow pharmaceutical companies to leverage information delivery resources and targeted media buys that are simply unavailable through traditional channels, said Jupiter’s report.

“Health, as a sector, combines content, interactive applications that really add value for customers, and abundant commerce opportunities,” said Adam Schoenfeld, vice president and senior analyst at Jupiter Communications.

The rise in health and medical advertising will present an opportunity for the development of health portals on the Web, according to the report. Jupiter has found that the health-related resources currently available on the Web are elementary (medical risk assessments, personal health calendars, prescription tracking, etc.), and the highest level of health portal functionality will rely on connectivity between consumers, their doctors, and their pharmacists. These developments are not expected within the next five years, the report said.

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