The new PAAB logo represents credible and trustworthy Canadian healthcare ads and promotional materials.
Background information about PAAB and its mission
The Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board (PAAB) is known by most people who work in the Canadian pharmaceutical industry, or who provide third party marketing services. However, very few people outside of the pharmaceutical industry seem to be aware that there is an organization that ensures that Canadian pharmaceutical messages are evidence-based and credible. This is unfortunate because the main reason why PAAB exists and does the work that it does is to give healthcare professionals and patients a sense of reassurance that the Canadian pharmaceutical promotions that they see is credible.
Here is how the PAAB organization is described on the paab.ca website:
The Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board (PAAB) is an independent not-for-profit organization funded on a fee-for-service model. It is the only regulator whose preclearance service is recognized by Health Canada for advertising directed to healthcare professionals. PAAB works to protect Canadians by ensuring that healthcare product advertising meets the regulatory, scientific, therapeutic, and ethical standards outlined in the Code of Advertising Acceptance. All PAAB approved materials bear the PAAB logo.
The primary role of the PAAB is to ensure that healthcare product communication for prescription, non-prescription, biological and natural health products is accurate, balanced and evidence-based, and reflects current and best practice.
When PAAB reviews promotional healthcare materials, they base their assessment on the standards in the PAAB Code of Advertising Acceptance. Once an organization has gone through the review and approval process with PAAB, it receives a PAAB approval number and the PAAB logo is then be included in the promotional materials. The PAAB logo indicates that the promotional tool, whether it be a journal ad or a sales aid, meets the high standards of the PAAB Code. When you see the PAAB logo on a pharmaceutical promotional tool, it is a symbol that the messages and images included in the promotional tool have been independently vetted. Although PAAB is not part of Health Canada, Health Canada does recognize the PAAB preclearance mechanism.
Do healthcare professionals recognize the PAAB logo?
PAAB recently surveyed healthcare professionals (HCPs) to find out what they are looking for when they see a promotional tool for an Rx product. The overwhelming response was that the HCPs want validation that the tool is credible and trustworthy. Unfortunately, many of these HCPs were not aware that this is exactly what the PAAB logo is supposed to represent.
New PAAB logo (Coming soon!)
One of the PAAB 2020-2022 goals is for the PAAB value proposition to be well understood. To achieve this goal, PAAB plans to increase awareness among healthcare professionals about PAAB’s role in supporting truthful and trustworthy advertising. One of the tactics that PAAB has chosen to achieve this goal is to update its logo in a way for it to be visibly more meaningful.
Here is a sneak peek of the new logo, which will be launched in October 2020. The new logo will launch as part of a promotional PAAB campaign targeted to HCPS, with the goal of creating awareness of PAAB and its service.
Agencies and organizations that develop PAAB-approved materials, please refer to the PAAB logo style guide.
Coming soon: PAAB HCP Campaign
Last week, I had the opportunity to discuss the new PAAB logo as well as the upcoming PAAB HCP campaign with Patrick Massad, the PAAB Commissioner. Here are a few highlights of our discussion;
What information can you share about the PAAB HCP campaign?
The PAAB HCP campaign will launch in October 2020. The intent is to raise awareness with healthcare professionals about who PAAB is, what we do, why it should matter to them, and how they can get involved. Healthcare professionals will see our ads in journals and online.
What do you want the PAAB HCP campaign to accomplish over the long term?
1. Promote the perceived value of advertising targeted to HCPs
2. Promote the relevance and importance of the work PAAB does
3. Promote collaboration between PAAB and HCPs to drive continuous system-wide improvements
What are things HCPs should know about PAAB?
1. We are a not-for-profit organization. It is the health and safety of Canadians that drives us.
2. We deliver the only preclearance service recognized by Health Canada for advertising directed to healthcare professionals and for industry-generated patient information distributed by HCPs.
3. The PAAB logo indicates that HCPs can trust that the healthcare ad or promotional tool has undergone a rigorous and independent review process.
4. PAAB has a long track record. It was established in 1976.
5. HCPs can get involved with PAAB. We hope to involve HCPs in speaker circuits, advisory committees, and also to make them aware that they can make a complaint if they have concerns over a particular healthcare ad or promotional tool.
What should it mean to an HCP when the PAAB logo is affixed to promotional information about healthcare products?
It indicates that HCPs can trust that the healthcare ad or promotion tool has undergone a rigorous and independent review process.
This is important because high-quality information is at the core of state-of-the-art patient care.
Why is the PAAB logo changing?
PAAB wanted to make the logo identify promotional information that has been independently reviewed to support the health and safety of Canadians. With the addition of the word “reviewed by”, it readily implies that the content has been looked at. If somebody forgets what the PAAB logo stands for, reading these words within the logo may trigger its meaning. Also, we added a checkmark to emphasize that the ad was checked against the high standards of the PAAB Code. The iconic Canadian maple leaf sprouts out of the green checkmark to symbolize the fact that information that meets high standards supports the health of Canadians.
Who came up with the new logo?
Jennifer Carroll, a Senior Reviewer of Communications at PAAB, chaired a committee consisting of multiple stakeholders. There was representation from design agencies, manufacturers, healthcare professionals, and patients. These team members shared their unique expertise and together came up with the new PAAB logo. We are grateful for their involvement and participation in this important goal of PAAB.
Here is a list of the new PAAB logo committee members;
|Name||Type and place of work||Representation|
|Jennifer Carroll (CHAIR)||Senior Reviewer of Communications, PAAB||PAAB|
|Lisa Barbusci||Managing Director, CDM Montreal||Agency|
|Guillaume Chapdelaine||Digital and Commercial Operations, Merck||Manufacturer|
|Mathew Cooper||Key account manager, Pfizer||Manufacturer|
|Dorothy Czylyski||Head of Health, No Fixed Address||Agency|
|Angela Hickman||Senior copywriter, Lemieux Bedard||Agency|
|Randy Levitt||Director Pharmacovigilance and Medical Affairs, Paladin Labs||Manufacturer|
|Patrick Massad||Commissioner, PAAB||HCP & PAAB|
|Erin Musgrave||RN, Diabetes educator||HCP|
|Christine O’Reilly||President, CORE||Agency|
|Dr. Ahmed Saber||HLS Therapeutics||HCP & Manufacturer|
|Ed Voltan||CEO, CHMN||Patient & Publisher|