Danish Government Loosens Reins on OTC Drug TV Ads

01 September 2003

Television advertising of medical products sold over-the-counter – outlawed for decades under stringent Danish TV regulations – has been given the green light by the nation’s government.

The relaxation of the rules was welcomed by Denmark’s federation of advertisers, Dansk Reklamebureauers Brancheforening, which predicts a concomitant increase of 5% in total annual adspend this year and 10% next.

First to dive off the pier was analgesic brand Kodimagnyl, whose ad ran last week on commercial channel TV2. But in typically pragmatic Danish fashion there is a tradeoff. The Kodimagnyl ad (and all other drug ads) must refer to a Text TV page where further information on advertised drug products is available.

The new rules also sweep away a ban on sponsorship of TV programs by OTC drug products. But there is an important proviso: such programs may not be used to promote prescription drugs to the public.

Data sourced from: AdAgeGlobal.com; additional content by WARC staff