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Do Direct-to-Consumer Ads Really Pay Off?

Not according to some analysts. However, companies in recent years have embarked on efforts to educate consumers about options that could enhance their health (and more obviously, help promote their product). For example, Zimmer has placed ads about its Gender Knee implant on TV, in newspapers, and has even been spotted on MySpace, a social networking site. Medtronic Inc. also unleashed a $100-million ad campaign for its defibrillator product six months ago.

While analysts are pointing out the effects of ads can't necessarily be immediately seen, a Medtronic spokesman has said the company has received positive feedback from patients and doctors, and that the number of responses has "exceeded" their expectations.

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