Denys Ganzha – Pharma Brandemic: How to benefit from the drug ad ban

Outside, it’s December 31, 2023. Everybody is celebrating—except for pharma communications and marketing teams: a total ban on drug advertising comes into force on January 1, 2024. The government’s key argument went something like this: “We’re removing any kind of advertising of drugs to protect people from the risks of self-medication.”

This decision was made by Ukraine’s National Security Council in August 2021 and is undoubtedly being fought by different associations right now. The Four Drugs Roundtable, organized as part of the Pharma&Digital Forum in September 2021, called on the government and all political parties to invest more resources in reforming advertising legislation and raising public awareness of the dangers of self-medication.

And yes, the new reality can be altered with the efforts of associations and the issuing of joint statements—and hopefully the pharma and media businesses will succeed. But this situation can be seen from a different side. Every ban is also a window of opportunity: the text of the decree implementing the Security Council’s decision says nothing about banning the advertising of pharmaceutical brands.

So far, pharma brand communication has not been the easiest to do. But the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a real “brandemic” in the vaccine-developing industry.

Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna… These names are now on the lips of every Ukrainian. Before 2020, it’s safe to say only a small percentage of people knew these brand names. In the US, only 32% of ordinary Americans were positive about Big Pharma in January 2020, yet just a few months later, this number had nearly doubled, to 62%. Social media users began writing posts with hashtags like #TeamModerna or #PfizerGang. But the most important change is that, while few individuals know that they were vaccinated with Comirnaty, the Pfizer vaccine, they can all say: “I got Pfizer.”

Of course, this has all happened quite coincidentally and brand awareness was helped by a terrible pandemic that took millions of lives. The thing is that Ukraine’s pharmaceutical companies, not being major vaccine developers, face a harder challenge. Right now, the best way forward for these companies is to strategically promote their brands rather than relying on advertising individual drugs.

Strange as it might sound, Ukrainian pharma could learn from its “ideological antagonist,” the tobacco industry. Although a total ban on cigarette advertising came into force back in 2012, the tobacco industry is still one of the biggest spenders on marketing in Ukraine. According to WHO, $23 million is spent DAILY on tobacco marketing all over the world. Tobacco companies are investing in creative marketing, social responsibility and a presence at big festivals and other events. Given its positive mission, pharma could advertise even more effectively.

No ban will stop companies with Big Ideas.

So what can Ukraine’s pharma do in order to come out a winner in 2024 and use the ban as an opportunity? Make your brand sell. Job #1 that every manager must set for the communication team is “Our brand name has to be on the lips of 100% of our target audience.”

To get there, here’s a practical roadmap:

1. Promote your brand through social projects
It’s long been known that social projects have a significant impact on consumer loyalty. Look for universal issues that will help your brand become a leader in social responsibility. Here, you can come up with new areas of engagement—from providing learning opportunities for students to constant contact with consumers at festivals, sports events and even concerts.

2. Set up a network of direct contact with consumers without intermediaries.
This is a completely new direction that it is rapidly gaining momentum. Connecting with consumers directly through your company’s daily tools can generate additional revenue for your pharmaceutical brand. Develop a network of medical reps and open direct POS for medications—both off- and online.

3. Represent your brand “to the max” without focusing on specific drugs in online pharmacies and medical marketplaces.
Today, the share of e-commerce in Ukraine’s pharmaceutical market is already 7%, but by 2026 it is expected to rise to 15%, which is 5% higher than the world average. Indeed, this trend will continue, especially after the ban on advertising drugs. Look for the most effective mechanisms for working with such marketplaces as Liki24, and start signing solid cooperation agreements.

For one thing, Ukraine’s pharma businesses urgently need to set up new partnerships, whether it’s cooperating to counter the ban or completely new, even unexpected ways of developing. Keep in mind that any ban brings major changes that can lead to a perfect storm for the emergence of strong new ideas. Better to face this storm on a powerful, nimble platform, the foundation of which is your brand.

Denys Ganzha – Pharma Brandemic: How to benefit from the drug ad ban

CFC Big Ideas supported the online conference titled “The Oligarchs – Economic Power, Democracy and Responsibility of the West”, which took place on November 18 and was streamed from the Berlin office of the GMF.

The hybrid event brought together academics, journalists, think tank experts and policy makers who analyzed the impact of oligarchs on democracy, the oligarchic power strategies and tactics and the role of Western infrastructure.

Vasyl Myroshnychenko, Partner at CFC Big Ideas and Marshall Memorial Fellow’18, moderated the panel discussion “What is the impact of oligarchs on democratic transition?” with the participation of Edward Lucas, Non-Resident Senior Fellow at Center for European Policy Analysis, John Lough, Associate Fellow, Russia & Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, and Dr. Taras Kuzio, Associate Research Fellow, Henry Jackson Society, Adjunct Professor, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Two other panels covered the topics “How to advance democracy in an economy dominated by oligarchs?” and “How can policymakers constrain the influence of oligarchs?”. 

The conference also featured the interview of Casey Michel, author of the book titled American Kleptocracy and a journalist whose writings on offshoring, kleptocracy, and financial secrecy have appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Vox, The New Republic, and POLITICO Magazine.

The conference was supported financially by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Learn more about the conference and read the event report.

Denys Ganzha – Pharma Brandemic: How to benefit from the drug ad ban

The event, “Banking for Everyone: Arising Accessibility Trends and Financial Services” was held on the Global Inclusion Online Forum (GIOF) platform on November 18, 2021.

This live event started with a panel discussion featuring Global Heads of Accessibility and Digital Experience Senior Executives from some of the global leaders of banking accessibility, such as HSBC, ING Bank, and CIBC, who have pioneered their accessibility programs in the last decade and achieved significant results. During the event, they shared their case studies, results, and plans to make banking and financial services more accessible by developing their accessibility and inclusivity features and implementing their main accessibility principles in banking. 

The panel discussion was followed by presentations, where the event`s experts covered the topics about new standards of accessible banking cards, navigating the challenges of PDF and other digital document accessibility, and prospects brought by accessible services. Attendees were able to participate in the Q&A sessions with the speakers and network with accessibility experts and executives from around the world. 

Denys Ganzha – Pharma Brandemic: How to benefit from the drug ad ban

CFC Big Ideas supported Google Ukraine in promoting the Digital Sprinters framework at the StratgEast State and IT Eurasian Forum.

The StrategEast State and IT Eurasian Forum is an annual event, held in one of the Eurasian capitals, that serves as a unique platform for dialogue between governments and leaders of the IT industry. This year, the forum took place on 9-10 November in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, with the Lead topic: Development Through Collaboration.

The Forum brought together senior representatives of governments of the USA, EU, Eurasian and Baltic states and high-level representatives of the global IT companies, VC funds, investment banks from the region. Participants had an opportunity to discuss what needs to be done to enhance the innovative economy across the region and assist Eurasian countries with their integration into the global economy. One of the main focuses was on the challenges and future of the IT sector and the opportunities building digital economy through complex digital changes implementation in all spheres.

“For the last 5 years, we’ve been closely supporting our partner’s digital transformation of Ukrainian regions that in 2021 evolved into a new opportunity for the country as a whole. This year, Ukraine became one of the Google Digital Sprinters – a part of a promising initiative for the emerging markets.“, said Oleksi Syvak, Partner and GR Director at CFC Big Ideas. 

Digital Sprinters is a framework that offers a practical plan for countries to accelerate digital transformation via policy enactment and step-by-step digital transformation establishment. The framework is based on a comprehensive economic study of the region, and it proposes four key areas for digital acceleration: physical capital, human capital, technology, and competitiveness, as well as up to 13 recommendations for governments, private sector and international organizations to unlock the digital opportunity for economic development. 

Digital Sprinters concept provides fruitful ground for further economic growth and digital transformation evolution. Therefore it is important that many of the forum’s participants and high-level stakeholders from governments and industry showed interest to integrate the framework into their digital development strategies.

Denys Ganzha – Pharma Brandemic: How to benefit from the drug ad ban

The workshop, “Strengthening Digital Security, Physical Safety, and Psychological Care for Journalists” was organized by CFC Big Ideas for the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM) on October 29-31, 2021, in Mokrin, Serbia.

The three-day workshop was targeted at addressing the increased attacks against journalists in Serbia, exacerbated by a continued culture of equipping journalists, especially those working in hostile environments, with basic skills and knowledge regarding personal safety and security. 

As a result of covering the training program, consisting of fourteen theoretical and practical sessions, journalists were expected to gain a better understanding of how to address risks through rapid assessments, planning and preparation, secure their devices and data through digital security, recognize and deal with trauma and stress, and provide first aid in cases of medical emergency.

As for arranging the workshop, CFC Big Ideas’ team ensured smooth communication of all training-related materials to the participants, kept in constant  touch with local trainers, and guaranteed that COVID-19 restrictions would be adhered to in order to provide full preparation for the event. 

On site, a coordinator from CFC Big Ideas and a local Serbia-based coordinator were present all three days of the training to ensure the best experience possible for all participants.

Denys Ganzha – Pharma Brandemic: How to benefit from the drug ad ban

The Business Development Tour “Ukraine`s IT Sector: The Emerging Tiger of Europe”, held on November 6 – 13, 2021, featured a seven-day visit to Kyiv, Ukraine for Heads of IT and C-suits responsible for the business development of large Gulf Cooperation Council`s (GCC) corporations. 

For this Tour, CFC Big Ideas arranged meetings with such pioneering Ukrainian IT companies as N-iX, SoftServe, Eleks, Ukrainian Startup Fund, Avenga, Infopulse, Augmented Pixels, Hacken, Sigma Software, as well as with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. These meetings covered the essential IT segments which are rapidly developing in Ukraine, namely IT outsourcing, Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, Mobile Application Development, Blockchain, and government digitalization programs. The cultural program supplemented the Tour`s program and consisted of a guided tour around Kyiv’s historical center.

During the Tour, the participants found strategic partners for developing their newest IT products and features; discovered the peculiarities of the Ukrainian IT market; learned from the market experience of Ukraine’s biggest IT companies; and gained insights into legal and market conditions of establishing the IT entity in Ukraine and hiring its developers, as well as special incentives from the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation for IT investors.

Denys Ganzha – Pharma Brandemic: How to benefit from the drug ad ban

Djooky Music Investment Summit, a global online conference on investment in the music industry that took place on June 17 and 18, 2021 announced its transformation into an event platform, Djooky Music Investment Summit. The platform will be hosting conversations about financial trends and challenges in the music industry, ways for emerging artists to monetize their art and enlarge their fan bases, as well as investment opportunities in the music business.

The Djooky Music Investment Summit platform now holds two annual events and a series of monthly events, in addition to other music community projects currently under way.
The two Annual events include the Djooky Music Investment Summit held online and the Global Music Investment Summit organized in a hybrid format. The latter, a new initiative, will host C-level executives from global music companies and is aimed at attracting investors from non-music industries.

The first monthly event series will kick off in the end of 2021 and will include virtual events dedicated to various conceptual and regional angles of music investment. The hybrid event, Global Music Investment Summit, will take place on January 17, 2022.

The idea of Djooky Music Investment Summit was sparked by Gennadiy Kurochka, CFC Big Ideas Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Djooky.

Visit the Djooky Music Investment Summit website to learn about upcoming monthly and annual events.

Denys Ganzha – Pharma Brandemic: How to benefit from the drug ad ban

How do we make racial equality a strategic imperative?

After George Floyd’s murder, many organizations started paying more attention to racial discrimination and how racial inclusion can be achieved in the workplace. 

In light of this frequent discussion, many of them have pledged to eliminate any form of racism in the workplace, but very few succeeded in doing so.

Mariia Prylypko, Account Executive at CFC Big Ideas and organizer at Global Inclusion Online Forum (GIOF), shares some indispensable means to promoting racial and ethnic inclusion in your organization in her article.

Denys Ganzha – Pharma Brandemic: How to benefit from the drug ad ban

CFC Big Ideas was the organizer of the “Decarbonizing Value Chains” event under the Future Energy Week project, which took place on October 7.

The event started with the panel discussion, “Industry Leadership Beyond Profit”, where speakers explored how the leaders in Scope 3 Decarbonization are taking initiative to efficiently engage with suppliers, conclude meaningful partnerships, and try new approaches to fully unlocking a climate-neutral organizational structure and facilitating a slower temperature rise worldwide.

The event featured some of the top global decarbonization experts, including Stuart Broadley, CEO at Energy Industries Council, Dorethe Nielsen, Vice President of Corporate Environmental Strategy at Novo Nordisk, Virginia Covo, Global Director of Climate Action at AB InBev, Steffen Schwartz-Höfler, Head of Group Sustainability at Continental AG, and Maurice Loosschilder, Head of Sustainability at Signify. 

Stuart Broadley described the panelists as being “World-class leaders in moving forward with sustainability transformation, stemming from their core values and beliefs.” Stuart also commented on the discussion, saying, “This panel is going to put to shame the progress that the energy industry is making. The normal understanding of leadership has long been about hitting financial targets, but it has drastically changed over the last couple of years.”

The discussion was followed by presentations of the companies’ supply chain decarbonization programs. 

Denys Ganzha – Pharma Brandemic: How to benefit from the drug ad ban

CFC Big Ideas announced the event “Corporate Net-Zero: Decarbonizing Value Chains” under the Future Energy Week project, which will be held on October 7 at 3:00 p.m. EST.

The event’s speakers are experts in Supply Chain Sustainability, representing large international companies, such as Signify, Novo Nordisk, AB InBev, and Continental AG. They will share their experiences with the implementation of decarbonization projects. Panel discussion and presentations within the event will cover topics ranging from developing platforms for decarbonizing suppliers to ways to achieve Scope 3 emission reduction and usage of renewable power etc

The event is organized in partnership with the Energy Industries Council (EIC).

Visit Future Energy Week’s website to learn more about the event.

Denys Ganzha – Pharma Brandemic: How to benefit from the drug ad ban

CFC Big Ideas and Global Inclusion Online Forum (GIOF) participated in the fair of friendly businesses and organizations on behalf of Kyivpride on September 11. 

The event consisted of seminars, presentations, and workshops devoted to LGBT+ topics, where both Ukrainian and foreign companies shared the best practices regarding LGBT+ in a corporate culture, as well as recommendations on their positioning in the modern information space.

Anna Krys, Head of Partnerships at CFC Big Ideas, was a speaker at the panel discussion about LGBT+ in business and at the workplace. The discussion contributed to bringing LGBT+ issues into their substantive place in the agenda regarding social development on both national and intergovernmental levels.

Advocacy of LGBT rights is a crucial part of ensuring diversity and inclusion in companies’ corporate cultures, shaping social perceptions, and updating the main characteristics of modern business models.

Denys Ganzha – Pharma Brandemic: How to benefit from the drug ad ban

CFC Big Ideas will conduct two media workshops on Investigating Corruption and Fact-checking for Uzbek journalists in terms of USAGM (US Agency for Global Media) in Samarkand from September 6-9 and in Tashkent from September 11-14. Trainers Oleg Khomenok, Navbahor Imamova and Ken Holder will lead training sessions, practical exercises, and discussions with experts to build Uzbek journalists’ capacity to recognize manipulated information and fake news, fact-check and verify texts, photos, and videos, conduct journalistic investigations, and protect journalists’ sources and witnesses.

This hands-on training concludes USAGM’s one-year media project on Business Journalism in Uzbekistan.  The previous three training sessions were focused on improving journalists’ understanding of ethical reporting, business terminology, economic indicators, and sources of reliable information, as well as skills in analysis of financial data, finding stories behind numbers, and storytelling in business, economics, and finance. 

Journalists need all these skills, as the United States will be working closely with Uzbekistan’s Anti-Corruption Agency, assisting in its efforts to push for laws on financial disclosure and greater measures to ensure accountability and transparency in the country.

In total, about 120 journalists have attended workshops on Business Journalism in Uzbekistan. CFC Big Ideas went to Tashkent, Ferghana, and Samarkand to organize the workshops by arranging everything required for success of the events — from inviting trainees and recommending hotels to the trainers to arranging logistics for the training participants.

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