Umbrella Branding in Pharmaceutical Markets

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Umbrella branding is a marketing practice whereby multi-product firms
leverage their reputation across different product categories. This paper investigates
how advertising in the market of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs affects the decision
to buy prescription drugs from a promoted brand name. I exploit specific charac-
teristics of market regulation in Germany to identify the effect of advertising and
find positive effects of umbrella branding on sales of prescription drugs. Umbrella
branding results in market expansion, particularly for generic firms which invest in
OTC drug advertising. If the effect leads to more consumers of generic substitutes
or to more patients in undertreated therapeutic areas, market expansion can have a
positive effect on welfare.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages39
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2017

Publication series

NameTILEC Discussion Paper


  • umbrella branding
  • regulation
  • empirical io
  • pharmaceuticals
  • marketing


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