Allergan Bets on Botox Ad Campaign, This Time Geared for Men Too

(Bloomberg) -- Call it Brotox.

Allergan Plc is rolling out its first advertising campaign that directly pitches its blockbuster wrinkle-smoothing treatment Botox to men, a spokeswoman said Monday. The campaign will include TV commercials. Botox, which is injected into the skin, is used mostly by women.

In other efforts to bolster the brand, Allergan is creating a U.S. medical institute to train tens of thousands of health-care professionals to inject Botox. Allergan is also expanding its consumer-loyalty program, which already has more than 3.6 million users.

“These things among others have taken years to build, are difficult to replicate and give us a major competitive advantage,” Bill Meury, the company’s chief commercial officer, said on a call with analysts.

Allergan’s signature drug is facing growing competition. Earlier this year, Mylan NV announced a tie-up with Revance Therapeutics Inc. to develop a copycat version of the wrinkle treatment. Revance also posted its own promising data with an experimental drug that appeared, in some studies, to last longer than Botox. That’s caused some analysts to worry about how Botox will hold up.

In the first quarter, Botox generated $817.3 million in global sales, exceeding analysts’ average estimates. Despite the sales beat, Credit Suisse analyst Vamil Divan said in a note to investors that “concerns around the long-term health of the Botox franchise in the face of increasing competition” remain.

For its part, the company says it’s been dealing with competition for Botox for years.

“This idea of additional competition coming into the market is a bit overstated,” Chief Executive Officer Brent Saunders said in an interview. “It’s not the first time we’ve faced it. It’s not the last.”

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