The categories of FIFA prospective marketing partners
FIFA (2010) categorizes marketing partners as, “FIFA partner, FIFA World Cup Sponsor and National Supporter”. There are unique challenges that limit the pharmaceutical industry to sponsor FIFA.
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The business dilemma of pharmaceutical products
A pharmaceutical company risks coming out as too interested in its business objectives by becoming a FIFA sponsor. Quoting a WHO report, Dukes (2006, P183) says there is what WHO has described as, “an inherent conflict of interest between the legitimate business goals of manufacturers and the social, medical and economic needs of providers and the public to select and use drugs in the most rational way”.
The ethical dilemma of research and development versus sponsoring FIFA
Ethical concerns arise with sponsoring FIFA in the wake of greatly underfunded R & D. As Griffin (1993, P. 299) points out, “The sheer cost of research and development (R&D) for new pharmaceuticals demands active cooperation” of different entities. Milner (2005, p. 364) reports, “some are beginning to feel the nation’s pharmaceutical companies are becoming more concerned with marketing than with scientific research.” Also, Seiter (2010 p.98) states, “drug companies are very effective in generating high sales volumes for drugs that have only limited official indications”.
The dilemma of ‘Exclusivity’ as provided by FIFA
Secondly, FIFA (2010) promises “category exclusivity” for sponsors. This kind of advantage is a liability in the pharmaceutical industry. The particular company will acquire a reputation as a profit-driven entity seeking to profit from disease as opposed to the better-valued position as a conscientious health products provider.
Negative image and association of a sponsor to other FIFA sponsors
The image of the pharmaceutical industry is that of a bastion of health which is inconsistent with what most FIFA sponsors the project. By association, a pharmaceutical company that seeks to be a FIFA sponsor will encounter bad publicity. FIFA in 2010 came under fire because of the image of its main sponsors whose products are associated with an unhealthy lifestyle. BBC (2010) reported that “The World Cancer Research Fund criticised the governing body for partnering with the likes of Coca Cola, McDonald’s and Budweiser.”
Ineffectiveness of the marketing strategy through sponsoring of FIFA
Edlin, Golanty & Brown, (2000, p.19) point out that pharmaceutical “manufacturers continue trying to measure their return on investment in advertising”. Therefore, FIFA sponsorship may not meet the targeted needs of pharmaceutical marketing. It will appear too aggressive. Dukes (2006, pg 184) observes, “Over emphatic marketing matters rather more in fields related to health”. While Cassels & Moynihan (2005, p. vii) contend that, “the pharmaceutical industry is working behind the scenes to help define and design the latest disorders and dysfunctions in order to create and expand markets for their newest medicines.” In addition, Edlin, Golanty & Brown (2000, p. 258) state, “Through advertising to both consumers and health care providers, drug companies encourage drug-taking.”
Risk of escalation of copyright infringement and counterfeiting resulting from FIFA sponsorship publicity
The final challenge a pharmaceutical company will encounter is the risk of aggravation of product counterfeiting. FIFA (2010) says that the FIFA World Cup, “not only attracts fans and official partners, but also the ambush marketing activities of companies seeking to secure themselves a slice of the rewards illicitly without offering any financial support in return.”
About FIFA, Rights protection 2010. Web.
About FIFA, Sponsorship 2010. Web.
Cassels, A. & Ray, M. 2005, Selling sickness- How the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies are turning us all into patients, Douglas and McIntire Ltd, Vancouver, British Columbia.
Dev P. Alan E. & Suzan K., 1992, Promotion of pharmaceuticals-Issues, trends, options, Pharmaceutical products press, Binghamton.
Dukes G. 2006, The Law and ethics of the pharmaceutical industry, Elsevier, Amsterdam.
Edlin G., Golanty E. & Brown K., 2000, Essentials for health and wellness 2nd and, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury.
Griffin, J. 2009, The textbook of pharmaceutical medicine, 6th and, Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester.
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Mullner R.(ed) 2005. Journal of consumer marketing- Pharmaceutical marketing, vol. 22 number 7, Emerald, Chicago.
Seiter, A. 2010, Directions in Development, Human Development – A practical approach to pharmaceutical policy, The World bank, Washington DC.
“World cup attacked for ‘unhealthy sponsors’.’’ 2010 BBC News. Web.