A Magic Pill for Polishing Glaxo’s Public Image?

GlaxoSmithKline is trying to better its reputation in the face of what the Wall Street Journal calls “a series of legal woes that have tarnished the image of Glaxo and other drug makers in recent years.”

To that end, the drug maker decided to suspend U.S. TV ads for anti-impotence pill Levitra. Glaxo told the Wall Street Journal it hasn’t run a TV spot for it since fall 2009.

The article notes that Glaxo and “marketers of other erectile-dysfunction drugs” have seen criticism in the past for running TV commercials with adult themes when children could be watching. Glaxo, it goes on to say, does still run Levitra ads online and could in the future run print ads if there were a way to limit kids’ exposure.

And in part of the company’s nod toward transparency, more information about the company’s marketing and research is available online, the article quoted Deirdre Connelly, president of Glaxo’s North American pharmaceuticals unit, as saying. The company has also “become more selective in  providing grants to fund continuing-medical-education courses for doctors” and “doesn’t try to influence the content” the story says.

“What we as an industry specifically failed to recognize was the evolving expectations of society,” Connelly is quoted as saying. “Society is looking at us differently, and we are being held to a different standard. And to be honest with you, I think that’s right.”