Pfizer Unveils ED Effort

NEW YORK After nearly a year’s absence from the airwaves on the subject, Pfizer will break a television spot this week discussing erectile dysfunction.

The move has been long awaited, since Pfizer’s Viagra commercials were pulled from the air in November 2004, following criticism by the Food and Drug Administration.

The new effort is unbranded and takes the form of an educational campaign encouraging men to call a Pfizer help line to talk about their condition and to receive advice on how to approach their doctors about it. “Make the call” is the theme.

The approach is consistent with Pfizer’s vow earlier this year to make its advertising more informative and educational. But the company’s Viagra brand, which is not mentioned in the advertising, clearly stands to gain—when patients go to their doctors with specific ad-driven requests, the leading brand in the category tends to benefit most.

Independent shop Digitas in New York created the new TV ad, according to a Pfizer representative. The effort is supported by a Web site, www.makethecall.com. In print, Pfizer will continue running its existing Viagra ads, the rep said.