First, let’s review current media ratings for the male enhancement drug Viagra. We’ve been tracking prescription drug brands for some time now and Viagra has always been in a duel with Botox for top media visibility. For the latest media cycle (January 1-31, 2016), Viagra was off -3 points at a 67 media rating (comparative indexed score between 0-100) and the #2 peer rank in the prescription drug brands sector. Botox took the #1 spot at 72, +5 points above of Viagra. There’s a crass joke in there somewhere but I will refrain.

Now along comes the first female version of Viagra: Addyi, the “little pink pill.” Much hyped as most libido drugs are, the new drug closed January down -8 points at a 34 media rating.

Given that, physiologically, the drug operates completely differently than Viagra, it must be taken every day to be effective, it has some alarming potential side effects, and it isn’t supposed to be used by one of the groups that arguably need it most, post-menopausal women, it’s not surprising that the drug hasn’t achieved the same level of media traction as its blue-pill counterpart.

While the 12-month media rating trajectory for Addyi was impressive, that rating growth all but evaporated in September after the brand peaked at 50 in August. Media momentum has seen a continuing decline. The drug also slipped considerably in the sector rankings, losing -33 positions to competing drug brands.

The takeaway here is don’t lose hard-won media momentum, or at the very least stabilize story accumulation. Leave the media with a reason to follow up each month to ensure your competitive position remains strong. It’s a tall order in any brand or trend sector.

One thing media professionals know all too well is that it’s far easier to maintain then rebuild a brand position. There’s no reason Addyi should not be pulling 45-50 point ratings given the condition it addresses and the lack of any branded or generic competition. There’s also the opportunity to draft off the male drug equivalents, Viagra and Cialis.

Knowing where you came from, where you need to go, and tracking your progress along the way is essential to any media strategy. The PR team for Addyi should proactively monitor and manage media visibility across traditional and social media segments. The brand has a great story to tell, and online and social media can be very receptive to new drugs and treatments. For reference, online news coverage for Addyi is extremely low at a 16 rating, while for Viagra the online news segment rating is 88, is well ahead of the topline rating of 67.

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