SOURCE: TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony

September 05, 2007 09:00 ET

New Social Media Marketing Framework Developed to Help Pharmaceutical Companies Overcome Legal and Regulatory Obstacles

Industry's First White Paper That Provides Strategies to Help Drug Firms Leverage Social Media Without Violating DTC Promotion Regulations

WATERTOWN, MA--(Marketwire - September 5, 2007) - TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony, a leader in the brand monitoring market, today announced the release of a new social media monitoring and marketing framework for pharmaceutical companies. Created by a team of industry experts, this white paper will help drug firms discuss, evaluate, and minimize potential compliance risks associated with social media communications.

Social media sites are rich with valuable conversations on health conditions, treatment experiences, and emotional support. However, the FDA has yet to issue guidance on how to conduct monitoring and marketing practices in social media so pharmaceutical companies are unsure how to proceed. To address this problem, TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony collaborated with law firm Seyfarth Shaw, LLP and healthcare marketing communications consultancy Envision Solutions to identify and mitigate the risks for marketing initiatives across an array of social media formats including blogs, podcasts, social networks, wikis, discussion boards, and video sharing sites.

"Pharmaceutical companies are missing a tremendous learning and consumer engagement opportunity with social media because they are uncertain about the FDA's position on this type of marketing," said TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony Chief Marketing Officer Jim Nail. "Our framework gives their marketing, legal and regulatory groups a common ground to design a social media strategy."

"There are established principles in DTC advertising and promotions that can be adapted to guide marketing in social media," said John Serio, partner, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP. "This paper reviews the FDA's published guidelines and demonstrates how they apply to the Internet and to social media."

"With 113 million Americans using the Internet for health research, social media is playing an important role in consumers' healthcare decisions," said Fard Johnmar, founder of Envision Solutions. "A recent study has shown that consumers sometimes trust peer-generated social media content more than information developed by drug firms, non-profit groups and even government organizations. Pharmaceutical companies need to find ways to engage consumers on their level and provide them with information they really need using social media."

The white paper of this framework is available at In addition, the authors will present their strategic framework and answer questions about the white paper during a free webinar on September 11, 2007 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Register at:

About TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony

TNS MI/Cymfony tells brands and companies what people are saying about them -- whether the people are bloggers, traditional journalists or even influential consumers. TNS MI/Cymfony sifts and interprets the millions of voices at the intersection of traditional and social media to gain insights that help companies identify the people, keep on top of the issues and respond to the trends impacting their business -- at the speed of the market. We call this approach to harnessing this new dynamic "market influence analytics."

TNS MI/Cymfony pioneered the innovative technology to extract meaning from high volumes and diverse sources of text. U.S. intelligence agencies have been relying on our technology for more than eight years. We are an innovator in the integration of social and traditional media, offering access to the greatest breadth of content sources and analytical expertise.

Contact TNS MI/Cymfony at 617-673-6000 (x2) or visit for more information.

About TNS Media Intelligence

Established in 23 countries with more than 16,000 customers, TNS Media Intelligence (TNS MI) is part of TNS, the global marketing insight and information group. TNS MI monitors over 3 million brands worldwide across a multitude of media, including TV, radio, print, Internet, cinema and outdoor. The company offers a full range of insights and analyses, including the tracking of advertising expenditures and advertising creative, as well as news and social media monitoring and sports sponsorship evaluation.

In the U.S., TNS MI is the leading provider of strategic advertising intelligence to advertising agencies, advertisers, and media properties. The company's tracking technologies collect advertising expenditure and occurrence data, as well as select creative executions, for more than 2.8 million brands across 20 media. The U.S. headquarters are in New York City with sales locations in major markets throughout the United States.

About Envision Solutions, LLC

Envision Solutions, LLC is a full-service healthcare marketing communications consulting firm. The company provides innovative products and services to not-for-profit and for-profit organizations. Envision Solutions' core competencies are in the areas of analysis, strategic and tactical recommendation development, training and content development. Please visit for more information about the firm.

About Seyfarth Shaw, LLP

Seyfarth Shaw has over 725 attorneys located in nine offices throughout the United States including Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento as well as Brussels, Belgium. Seyfarth Shaw provides a broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and employment, employee benefits, litigation and business services. The firm's practice reflects virtually every industry and segment of the country's business and social fabric. Clients include over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, newspapers and other media, hotels, health care organizations, airlines and railroads. The firm also represents a number of federal, state, and local governmental and educational entities. For more information, please visit