Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Using the gallery

Registration & Login

Search Tips

What is AdPharm?

    AdPharm is an online pharmaceutical and healthcare advertising gallery and archive. Most ads showcased contain information (brand name, generic name, year of publication, what they are for, etc) that is stored in a database, which makes it searchable through the AdPharm site search function (log-in needed).

Who is AdPharm intended for?

    AdPharm is intended for advertising agency creatives, account services and also to pharmaceutical companie's marketing and communications specialists looking for specific pharmaceutical advertising examples. On AdPharm, they can conduct research on advertising that has been published in the past as a reference for current or future projects. Whether it is to find ads for similar drugs or treatments, to see what the competition has advertised in the past or even to see ads that were published in the past for their own brands in different markets.

What advertising markets are showcased AdPharm?

    Ads shown on AdPharm come from many countries such as: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Belgium and Australia. We are working diligently to increase our database by expending those markets and others as well.

Does AdPharm showcase only Direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising?

    AdPharm showcases mainly ads from two groups: Direct-to-consumer (DTC) and ads targeted to healthcare professionals (HCP). We also gather healthcare and pharmaceutical ads for the services industry (advertising agencies and other types of services) among others.

Are all published pharmaceutical ads in this gallery?

    That would be the ideal situation but it is unfortunately not the case. With many new magazines appearing every year it's difficult to keep track of all publications, especially worldwide. We do gather ads from many journals (DTC and HCP) of many countries and our sample is growing continuously.

In what year did Adpharm start gathering ads?

    Before Adpharm was... Adpharm, it was a private collection of ads gathered by a small group of creatives that were interested in building an archive that would help inform the projects they were working on for their respective agencies or clients. That private collection, which is still included in today's Adpharm was created around 2005. Interest outside of the core group grew with time and Adpharm became a site that all marketers and communicators could subscribe to as of August 2009.

    Because it started officially in 2009, users can expect to have a good sample of ads from that year up until now.

Can I submit ads to be showcased on AdPharm?

How often is the gallery updated?

    Apart from a few weeks when we close for holidays, the gallery is updated daily. We try to add new ads the day we get them, if not, within a few days. You will also notice that ads from earlier years occasionally appear in the latest ads section (log-in needed). That's because we also gather ads that were published prior to the start of AdPharm or ads that we have missed since then.

Can I advertise prices for drugs or treatments available online?

    AdPharm is not an online pharmacy nor will it promote any online pharmacies.

Can I use AdPharm to self-diagnose and determine which treatment is best for me?

    AdPharm is not intended to the general public and it is not managed by licensed healthcare professionals. The material shown on AdPharm is for educational and research purposes only and is intended for communications professionals. If you believe you suffer from an undisclosed illness, please consult your licensed healthcare professional.

Why are there ads with no description or keywords?

    Due to timing, sometimes we cannot add the information at the same time as the ads come in. Since we want our users to have access to a maximum of material at all times, we post the ads immediately when we get them and add relevant information later.

    The drawback to this is that the ads with no information only show up in searches when users type in a specific brand name.

Are the TV ads really HD?

    The most recent ones are. There are still some recent commercials that can be of standard definition (SD). The reason for this is we haven't managed to capture it on a HD channel or it played in standard definition on a HD channel, which happens quite a bit.

    The definition on the site says that the size is 700 X 400? This is the size it's shown within the site. If you download it or play it full-screen, the file should be 1920 X 1080.

Where is the Prescribing information for the products featured in the ads?

How can I contact AdPharm's managers?


What is "My Collection"?

    This feature lets a logged-in user store/collect multiple files so they can consult them at any time.

    Users can have multiple collections which can be accessed via the "My Collections" link located in right-hand side menu when logged-in.

How do I save a picture to "My Collection"?

    Click on a picture and click on the "picture info" link (Picture information); scroll down to the picture information set and click "Add to My Collection". You can also click on the small star located above the ad as seen below.

    IMPORTANT: Cookies must be enabled and the cookie from this site must not be deleted.


Download My Collection as a zip file

    This feature was removed due to various issues reported by users based on computer and browser settings. We are very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

    The easiest way to download the files included in your collection is to open each file in its own browser tab, or window and click on the "download original file" link located in the "file information" section.

How do I rate a file?

    Click on a thumbnail and choose a rating from the "Rate this file" section.

How do I upload a file?

    Direct upload is not possible but submitting an ad via email is possible.

    Please click on the "Submit an ad button"

What are cookies?

    Cookies are a plain text piece of data that is sent from a website and is put on to your computer.

    Cookies usually allow a user to leave and return to the site without having to log-in again and other various chores. More importantly, if cookies are not allowed in your browser, you won't be able to see any of the ads on AdPharm because your browser will have "forgotten" that it is logged-in the minute you leave the log-in page. More details on the cookies used on adpharm here.

    Please refer to your browser's "help" section to turn on the cookies function.

What is "Latest ads"?

    This shows the last additions to the site.

Ads in other languages than English.

    The gallery has ads in various languages. The bigger portion is in English but you can also find French, Spanish, Romanian, Russian ads. To find ads in specific languages, type in any keyword you want (i.e. brand name, company name, year, etc) and add the language name in its English version.

    For instance, your looking for a Lipitor ad from France in French language, type Lipitor France French (no quote marks) in the search field, Lipitor France Francais would yield not results.

    Try a search in the gallery (log-in required)…

Why was the intermediate image preview removed for guests?

    There are two reasons:
    1- it created some stress to our web server which in turn was detrimental to our paying users.

    2- there was content theft.

Why do I get errors or empty results when I use the search function?

    That can depend on many factors: how your browser uses cookies, which browser you use, etc. Most search problems are solved simply by using the "advanced search" feature instead of the "simple search" found on the right hand side menu.

Missing page elements in Internet Explorer 9?

    Adpharm may appear blank or might not display correctly if you are using Windows Internet Explorer 9. This is because some style elements only work with newer browsers. We recommend upgrading to IE 10 or 11 if you can or switching to Google Chrome or Firefox. In case you cannot upgrade your browser, there's an easy fix. When Internet Explorer recognizes that a webpage is not compatible, you will see the Compatibility View button on the Address bar as seen below.

    All you need to do is click the Compatibility View button in the address bar. In Compatibility View, websites will be displayed as if you were viewing them in a previous version of Internet Explorer, which ironically should correct display problems. You don’t need to click the button for a site after you’ve done it once—the next time you visit the site, Internet Explorer 9 will automatically show it in Compatibility View.

How can I download the full-sized version of an ad?

    To be able to download the full-sized version of an ad, you need to have a subscription that allows full-size downloads and be logged-in the gallery.

    To download the full-sized version of an ad, scroll down to the "File information" section under the ad on the description page and click on "Download Original File". This will download the high-resolution (print ads) or High-definition (TV) file in your download folder on your computer.

    If your file does not fully download, you can try using a different browser to download the file.

I can't view a video or flash file, what can I do?

    This may be a browser issue or a mime setting that may be missing in your browser. To overcome this issue, you can either resolve the browser issue on your end or download the file directly on your computer and play it in your favorite browser directly. To download a file, follow the instructions that can be found here.

How can I get an ad or multiple ads without the watermark on it or them?

    To get ads without the watermark, you will need to be logged-in first. The original, high-resolution files do not have any watermark on them. Users with a subscription can download the files by following the instructions found here.

Email alerts feature.

    When logged-in, users can create email alerts for specific brands, companies, therapeutic categories, etc. The Alert manager is located in the right-hand side menu.

    By default, users have no alerts set-up. To create a new alert, go into the Alert Manager. Once in it, click on “Add New Alert”. Add one or multiple keywords separated by a comma. Click “Add To List” and then an “Alert Name” is added. A description can also be added.

    Similarly to the site search function, the more keywords added in a single alert, the narrower the search results will be. As an example, if you add two keywords such as "Viagra" and "Cialis" in one alert, you are very likely to never receive any alerts since both brands are competing against one another. So if you want to receive alerts for both brands, then you should create to separate alerts, one for each brand.

    Users receive alerts immediately when an ad matching the alert is added to the gallery. Users can create as many alerts as they want.

    Alerts are sent only when new ads are added to the gallery. So if a user adds an alert, he/she will not get alerts for all the associated ads that are already in the gallery. If an older ad is sent, that would be only because the details of that ad have changed.

    All alerts will come from email address To prevent the alerts from going in the junk mail folder, this email address should be added to the user’s address book or junk mail filter white list.

    If you encounter any problem using this feature or any other, please don't hesitate to email us at

Preliminary entries.

    Occasionally we get backed up with many ads to include in the gallery at once. When a situation like this happens, we insert the new ads in the gallery with only minimal information so subscribers can see and download them as soon as possible even if the entry is not complete.

Links to other ad galleries.

    In September 2013, we started including brand links to other ad galleries in our ad details pages. Ads that were included prior to September 26, 2013 don't have those links. This is a service to our subscribers to help complement searches on specific brand. One of those linked sites is MOAT, a free online consumer display (web banner) ad search engine. Ads of the World is also a free online ad gallery mainly for consumer ads. They have print, web and TV ads. One thing to consider is that although most ads included in Ads of the World have been published, some weren't and may have been spec work done in design or advertising school. Finally, is also a free online TV commercial gallery where you can find, share and track TV spots.

Ads taken from unverified sources.

    Occasionally we include ads taken from other sources than our own in an effort to bring our users a maximum of inspirational materials in one place.

    It is important to note that we cannot be absolutely sure of the provenance of these advertisements, so please use with caution.

    Said ads are clearly identified so there should be no confusion for the user.

Ad or file identifyer.

    To find the number of a file or "ad" for later referral or to report some issue with it, go on the page of the specific ad and look for the PID (Picture I.D.) located in the "File Information" section below the image.


    You can copy the whole URL to send or keep for later.

Why do I need to Subscribe?

    AdPharm is now a paid-subscription service. Since pharmaceutical advertising is a niche category, displaying advertising on the site did not bring enough revenue to be able to keep AdPharm running.

How do I subscribe or renew my subscription?

    Simply go to the subscription page and fill out the required fields. If the links on the subscription page do not work properly in your browser, you can also send us an email at with the following information and we will send you an invoice that you can pay online with a credit card.

    • Your name
    • Name of your company (if applicable)
    • Address
    • Subscription package chosen
    • Is this a new subscription or a renewal?
      (If it's for a renewal, which user name should be renewed?)
    • If you are not the person for whom the subscription is purchased, which name and email address should we associate with the account?

How do I create my user access?

    If you already have a subscription that you have renewed and your previous subscription is still active, simply continue using the same user access that you have been using. We will send you your new expiry date via email shortly after reception of your payment.

    NEW USERS with an auto-renewing subscription

    As soon as your payment is completed on Square, you will be automatically brought back to our user registration form. You will be able to log-in as soon as you complete the registration. If you are not redirected to the registration page, please email us using the email associated with the payment. We will send you your registration URL as soon as possible.

    NEW USERS and EXPIRED USERS with a one-time subscription.

    New users are created when we have confirmation of payment. If you wish to subscribe or renew an expired subscription, please visit our subscription page.

    Revised Sunday, June 5, 2022

How Do I login?

    Go to "Login", submit your username and password

    IMPORTANT: Cookies must be enabled otherwise your browser will not be able to keep you logged-in.

Can I use my email address to login?

    Yes you can, since September 2019.

When will I get access to the gallery content once I’ve purchased a subscription?

    If you have purchased a subscription with auto-renewal, you will be automatically brought back to the user-registration page. As soon as your registration is completed, you will be able to login to If you were not redirected to the registration page, please email us using the email associated with the payment. We will send you your registration URL as soon as possible.

    If you purchased a one-time subscription, you will receive an email from us with a link to go create your user name and password within the next working day after reception of your payment.

    Our sales team can be reached via email at

    Our working hours: Monday to Friday from 9AM to 5PM (EDT - Eastern Daylight Time).

    Revised Sunday, June 5, 2022

When can I expect an answer from Adpharm if I email them?

    Our sales ( and support ( team can be reached via email during work days from Monday to Friday, 9AM to 5PM (EDT - Eastern Daylight Time).

    So if you email us during the week-end, you can expect a reply the following Monday before 5PM EDT.

    Please note that we answer users with subscription first. We reserve the right to not answer all inquiries from non-subscribers.

Questions regarding the gallery billing and Tax

    If you require a new copy of an invoice that was issued by the credit card processor, please contact them directly and they will resend you your bill. We have requested this on behalf of our customers before and were indicated that only the actual customer can request a reissue.

    If you need us to resend you an official receipt, please email us at using the mail address that is associated with your payment and include your user name.

    As of October 1, 2011, sales taxes are applicable for buyers located in Canada. Customers from other countries than Canada don't pay tax.

    Please note that Adpharm is owned by Outbreak Communications Inc.
    Quebec Provincial Sales Tax Number (PST): 1215586037
    Canadian Sales Tax (GST): 85466 6260 RT0001

I can't login, what do I do?

    New users
    Does your browser allow cookies? If not, please refer to the following FAQ entry: What are cookies?

    If you did purchase a subscription, you should receive an mail from us with your log-in details within the next work day.

    If you did not receive your log-in details within the next work day after your payment, please contact the site support at: using the e-mail account that was used for your payment.

    Returning users
    Make sure that your browser allows cookies.

    Are you sure your subscription hasn't expired? Although we send renewal messages via email, sometimes those messages end up in the junk mail folder. Accounts are removed from the system after expiry, so even if the subscription has been renewed, the user name and password you had may not work anymore. If this is the case and you have not received your new access details, please email us at

    If your password stopped working right after renewing your subscription, please check the payment acknowledgement email we have sent you shortly after completing your payment. A new password may have been assigned to your account.

    You can also try emptying your browser cache and deleting your cookies, which can solve some login problems.

    If you still have log-in issues after trying all of the above, please sent us an email at with the issue, and your user name.

What if I forgot, or want to change my password?

    To get a new password, you will need access to the email inbox associated with the account. New passwords are generated by the server and cannot be predetermined. To change your passwords, please use the forgot password function found on the log-in page. You can also click here to access it directly.

    I forgot my password function

    Enter the email address associated with the subscription and click OK.

    Enter the email address associated with your account

    Once you have entered the proper email address, you will see a message prompting you to check your emails for further instructions.

    Email sent message

    You will get an email from the system with the subject "New password request" soon after. Click on the link found in the body of the email to request your new password.

    If you cannot find the email within 5 minutes after making the request, please check your junk mail folder. If it's not there, please email us at requesting a new password. Your previous password should still work until we change it on our end.

    Email with link to request new password

    By clicking on the link in the email, you will be brought back to where you will get confirmation that the password has been changed.

    Confirmation that your password has been changed and that your new password has been sent to your email address

    Your new password will be sent to you via email.

    As for the previous step, if you cannot find the email with your new password, it may have ended up in the junk mail folder.

    Email with your new access details

    Please note that only the owner of the account can request a new password. If that person is no longer with the company for which the subscription has been purchased, send us an email at mentioning the user name and the email address associated with the subscription. we will change the email associated with the account.

What if I changed my email address?

    Email us and include your user name and the email address that was used to register. We will make the change on our end.

Why can't I see who else is on the site?

    We value our users' privacy and therefore we do not list current users online nor do we make our users list available.

How do I cancel my subscription?

    If your subscription is under an auto-renewing plan, you can refer to the receipt sent to you via email when you initially subscribed. Included in that email is a link to manage your subscription. If the link does not work, please email us and we will cancel your subscription immediately on our end. Your subscription will then expire at the end of your last paid term.

    If you subscribed to a one-time term without auto-renewal, you do not need to cancel your subscription or account. Your credit card will not be automatically charged for a new subscription at the end of your term. When your subscription runs out, your account will simply be deactivated. If you are unsure what type of subscription you have, you can ask us via email. Please include the email and user name associated with the subscription in the email.

    Subscriptions are not refundable as stipulated on our Payment Terms.

    If ever you wish to delete all records of your subscription to the site, simply e-mail with your request and we will delete your account immediately.

    Revised Sunday, June 5, 2022

Will I be notified when my subscription runs out?

    Subscribers will be notified a few days prior to the end of their term via email.

Will I get a receipt for my subscription?

    Yes. receipts are sent by Square upon completion of payment.

I've completed payment for my subscription, now what?

Why can't I log-in after renewing my subscription?

    If you renew prior to the end of your previous subscription, you should be able to access the gallery without any disruptions. Your new subscription term will be added at the end of your previous subscription. Please note that we usually change passwords upon renewal.

    If you cannot log-in after your renewal, please look for an email from us with your new password.

    If you renewed after expiry of your prior subscription, it can take up to a full working day before your full access is reinstated.

Why should I log-out of the ad gallery when I'm done?

    If you leave the site (close the window or quit your browser) and plan to log back in in the next few minutes, you should log out first. Depending on how soon you come back to, you may be locked out for a few minutes. This is because the system thinks that there's already someone logged in with your credentials. This lock-out period should last no more than a 15 to 20 minutes from the moment you left the site while logged in.

    If you cannot log back in after 30 minutes, please email us at and we will sort it out.

Can I use the site with multiple computers?


    Users with paid subscriptions can log in from the office and then at home or any other place. Just make sure to log out before changing to another computer or device. If you forget to log out and get a warning message saying that someone is already logged-in with your user name when trying to log back on, just wait a few minutes and you will be able to log back in.

    If you cannot log back in after 30 minutes, please email us at and we will sort it out.

I've been banned, what do I do?

    There are a few reasons why your user name may have been banned or your access revoked. The most common reason for this is if you mistakingly typed in the wrong user name or password too many times. If that is the case, try again in a few minutes. This type of "ban" expires after roughly 5 minutes.

    Other reasons for bans are that it was recorded that either you or someone within your network tried hacking in the system; or more than one computer has tried logging in using a single user name at one time which is strictly forbidden and can result in a permanent ban unless you have a corporate or shared subscription. If payment to the site is cancelled or witheld, this can also result in a ban or revoked access.

    If you have been banned and you believe you did nothing that went against the gallery policies, please e-mail us at

What is a Single-User subscription?

    The Single-user subscription is a purchased access that can only be used by one person. Sharing of the user access details is prohibited as per our user agreement.

What is a Shared-User subscription?

    The Shared-user subscription is a purchased access that can be used by anyone in a given company or organization. It comprises one main user to which the user name and email address will be attached to, plus a number of additional "seats" that can access the gallery at the same time. The number of simultaneous log-ins is determined by the number of seats purchased by the main user. Sharing of the user access details outside of the user's company or organization is prohibited as per our user agreement.

How do I apply a coupon during the payment process?

    Users with coupons enter the coupon code on the same page/form where they fill-in their credit card information (see image below).

How can I search the ad database?

    Simply go to the search input field present on all of the site pages on the right-hand side menu (when logged-in) and type in one or more keyword(s) (i.e. "cholesterol USA'). The more keywords you put in, the narrower the search results will be (i.e. "cholesterol USA DTC") would give you the same search results as above but narrowed down to only direct-to-consumer ads.

    For avanced search features, use the advanced search page (log-in required).

Email keyword alerts

Are there categories in the ad gallery?

    Yes there are and you can see a list of those on the Sections page.

Do you have a page listing all brands and linking to them?

    We do and it can be seen here. As we are adding content to our archive pretty much daily, this page is in constant evolution. Please note that not all of the brands available on this site are listed on the brand page at this moment. If a brand you are looking for is not listed, it doesn't necessarily mean we don't have any ads for it in the gallery. Please try searching for it on the search page.

Can I search by publication or airing dates?

    In order to find specific publication or airing dates, you can do this in both the quick search form or the advanced search page by entering the month and year you are looking for. You can narrow your search by adding any the following:

    • Brand name
    • Country name
    • Company name
    • DTC (Direct to consumer)
    • HCP (Healthcare Professional)
    • Etc.

    As an example, your search field could look like this: Truvada January 2017 DTC

    There is always a possibility that a search similar to this could bring some false positives in the search results. You can confirm the publication date by looking for the "Publication/Aired" section that is present on each entry as shown on the image below.

    Publication date

Is there are list or search function just for ad taglines?

    taglines access

    This is a new feature that was added in February 2015 and it is still being worked on. The taglines page can be accessed via the "Sections" tab in the sites main navigation or you can access it directly here.

    Not all advertisements have a tagline and sometimes it can be unclear what constitutes a tagline. Usually it's group of words that is close or attached visually to the brand logo. Occasionally an ad may have more than one tagline. We only add the tagline for the main brand in such a situation.

    taglines access

    A specific taglines search can be done via the search form at the top of the taglines page.

    tagline, taglines, slogans, brand promise

Why do I get errors or the wrong ad when I click on a thumbnail after a search?

    AdPharm’s search engine can only process one search at a time. For instance, if you use multiple browser tabs at one time to do multiple searches, AdPharm will only remember the results of the last search you did. So if you go back to another tab from a previous search, those results will be obsolete and may show you the wrong ad when clicking to get the high-resolution version of the image.

    To remedy this, simply do one search at a time. Once you have seen or downloaded what you need, then you can do a new search. If you still get errors while searching, please empty your browser cache, quit your browser and restart it. That should solve the problem.

Can I use full sentences in my searches?

    Our search engine is designed for using simple queries. So sentences such as "commercials about bladder control with wedding theme" would not yield many results, if any at all. A better combination would be words like: "bladder control wedding", which as a sentence makes little sense but to our search engine would mean: "find ads about bladder control that also has something to do with a wedding. On our advanced search page (log-in required), there are some features to clarify your search such as:

      "and" and "or" – with "and", if you enter more than one keyword in your search, the results will be narrower than if you select "or" because the search will give you results that have necessarily the two keywords attached to it.

      Title - Conduct a search only using the title of the ad

      Caption - Conduct a search using the caption. Having this selected or not may have a great impact on the quality of your search depending on how wide you want it to be. In the caption are included most of the messaging (copy) for the ad, including headline and tagline, there's also the publication and date (if available), indication, generic name, maker, etc.

      Keywords - In the keywords section are included most tags that we believe are most important to the user. Most of the words, image details, indication, year of publication, format, therapeutic area, etc. that pertain each specific ad are added manually here. Our "caterogies" list is based on those keywords and we are improving them constantly.

      Age - Helps the user searching for new or older ads (in terms of the date it was added to the gallery).

    You can check any of those selections. The more you select, the narrower, or wider your search will become, depending on which of the "or" or "And" selector you chose. Try various combination of keywords with our search features to see what works best.

What kind of keywords can I use for a search on AdPharm?

    Well, you can use any English word you want. Having said that, as a communications specialist, you may want to search for specific mediums (e.g. print ad, TV commercial, direct-mail, etc.). You may also be interested in seeing only certain formats of print ads (e.g. single-page vs. double-page spread). You may also want to search specific areas of healthcare ads (e.g. cardiovascular, oncology, breast cancer, gastro-intestinal, et or ads for generic vs. branded drugs, ads using illustrations vs. photography, ads using spokespersons or testimonials. The list goes on.

    Try it on the search page (log-in required).

Revised June 5, 2022.
To view the previous version of our FAQ page, please click here.

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