Umbrella Branding in Pharmaceutical Markets

39 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2017 Last revised: 28 Sep 2017

See all articles by Moritz Suppliet

Moritz Suppliet

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Tilburg School of Economics and Management

Date Written: September 20, 2017


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 characteristics 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.

Keywords: umbrella branding, regulation, empirical io, pharmaceuticals, marketing

JEL Classification: L13, L51, I11, I18, M37, D22, C18

Suggested Citation

Suppliet, Moritz, Umbrella Branding in Pharmaceutical Markets (September 20, 2017). CentER DP No. 2017-033 TILEC DP No. 2017-034. Available at SSRN: or

Moritz Suppliet (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE

Tilburg School of Economics and Management ( email )

PO Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE Ti

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics