Pharmas Market with Mike Huckman

Pfizer & Wyeth: New Media For Old Pharma Plus A "Timely" Update

Pfizer & Wyeth

As you'll see in the "First on CNBC" interview on "Squawk Box" this morning, like most companies when they announce such deals, Pfizer and Wyeth already had the new backdrop printed up.

But PFE  and WYE simultaneously launched a new website.

To get in you have to click a button about understanding that you're gonna read "forward-looking statements" and that you can't hold the companies accountable if things don't quite turn out the way they think they will.

As I've blogged before, it seems all of the major drug companies are falling all over each other to be the biggest, or at least the best "biopharma" firm in the world.

But PFE and WYE are the first, as far as I know, to put it into a URL.

So, once you click on the disclaimer you're taken to a page where there's a photo of PFE Chairman and CEO Jeff Kindler and Wyeth Chairman and CEO Bernard Poussot smiling and shaking hands. If you click on "CEO Video" at the top of the left column, you can also watch a nine-minute "interview" of the happy couple, download it into a podcast or even a vodcast. Interestingly, the video is dated yesterday, Sunday January 25th, but the interviewer begins the session by saying, "Well, today Pfizer announced...." The companies didn't announce the deal until this morning, Monday January 26th, but there were widespread media reports yesterday that it was done. The guys are wearing different colored ties than the ones they had on for this morning's round of interviews.

(*UPDATE: Since I posted my entry earlier today, someone went ahead and changed the date on the "interview" with the two CEOs. It now says January 26, 2009 instead of the 25th. You can check it out for yourself, but, again, you still have to click through the safe-harbor homepage and then hit "CEO Video" in the upper left column.*)

I applaud the companies, which many view as being old, rigid and stodgy, for getting hipper to new media. But I do think there should be some transparency about the "interview"—i.e. who's asking the questions, is that person an employee of or a freelancer for Pfizer, did the men see or know the questions in advance, etc. In one place on the website it is simply called, "CEO Video," but when you click through it is called an "interview."

And you just know that Pfizer and Wyeth branding themselves on the web as "Creating The World's Premier Biopharmaceutical Company" is going to get under the craw of their competitors who might be asking themselves, "Why didn't we think of that first?"

    • Pfizer to Buy Wyeth for $68 Billion, Cuts Dividend

Questions?  Comments?