The Shifting Dynamics of the Uzbek TV Media Market


New regulations and digital transformation lead to turmoil then resurgence for pharmaceutical advertisers in Uzbekistan

The Uzbek TV landscape, core to many pharmaceutical companies’ marketing strategies, underwent major upheaval in 2023. Strict new regulations on prescription medicines and a mandatory digital serialization tracking system for all medical products contributed to a pullback in advertising investments across the industry. However, adaptation and innovation fueled a late-year resurgence, offering insights into future trends.

Events Leading to Temporary Decline in Uzbek advertising market

The introduction of sweeping new rules caused significant disruption for pharmaceutical brands:

  • 44% decrease in TV ad purchases industry-wide
  • Rollout of digital marking requirements from 2022-2025
  • Prescription-only rules for many previously over-the-counter medications
  • Slowdown in activity from major player: Indian pharma companies

These changes created uncertainty and drove many leading advertisers to temporarily suspend campaigns until the impacts could be evaluated and processes adjusted.

Impacts on Pharmaceutical Firms in Uzbekistan

For pharmaceutical companies, the most significant challenge was new limitations on advertising prescription medicines. With many previously marketable products now classified as prescription-only, opportunities to promote these brands to the general public via television drastically contracted.

Simultaneously, the digital serialization marking system rollout forced brands to integrate new tracking and verification functionality during a transitional period. Together, these regulatory changes presented a dual disruption.

Pharmaceutical Companies are Driver of TV Advertising in Uzbekistan

Pharmaceutical companies are the largest TV advertisers in Uzbekistan, ahead of fast-moving consumer goods companies. Real estate, finance and telecommunications companies spend much less on TV ads. A reduction in pharmaceutical TV advertising negatively impacts the media industry’s revenue. However, pharmaceutical brands are resuming TV campaigns. Projections indicate increasing investment into digital marketing channels.

Resurgence: Adaptation and Evolution

Despite substantial hurdles earlier in 2023, investment levels and activity rebounded in the later months as pharmaceutical players found innovative ways to navigate the new landscape:

  • Leveraging of digital marketing capabilities for enhanced consumer engagement and trust
  • Shift towards more educational and awareness-focused campaigns
  • Increased focus on over-the-counter (OTC) and supplement products

This resilience suggests that television remains a viable platform when paired with the right messaging and positioning.

Gulya Pogotova, Marketing Director of Delta Medical, said “Now that we have clarity on serialization packaging requirements, and understand that our products will be available in Uzbekistan, we are resuming our media activities.”

Innovative Media Transformation

2024 and Beyond: Innovative Media Transformation

Industry leaders anticipate continued evolution in strategies as companies balance regulatory limitations with emerging opportunities to integrate technology and refine targeting.

  • Multi-channel strategies: Traditional TV plus sophisticated digital integration
  • Interactive and high-value ad formats that provide utility beyond product promotion
  • Partnerships with health-focused television programs

Rather than a sustained negative impact, the market changes seem to have expanded options for effectively engaging and educating target demographics. Regulation has spurred innovation.

Key Takeaways on Uzbek Media Market

For pharmaceutical brands across Uzbekistan and Central Asia, the market disruption and recovery highlight several lessons:

  • Navigating change through rapid innovation sustains relevancy
  • Providing education and awareness fosters trust and loyalty
  • A committed, nuanced understanding of evolving audiences and markets enables continued leveraging of television amid regulatory restrictions

Market turbulence has created openings for agile players, such as Delta Medical, to evolve their approaches. As Uzbek advertisers adapt to new systems and limits, they blaze exciting new directions for ethically and responsibly promoting their medical offerings while delivering consumer value.

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