The pharmaceutical industry spent $3.8 bln on drug advertising. This exceeds the promotional budgets of soft drink companies. However, the customers are paying less attention to advertised drugs, New York Times found out. In February 2002, 25% of consumers responding to the PharmTrends study said an ad had prompted them to discuss with their doctors the drug being advertised. The response rate dropped to 19% in the study in February 2004 and remained there in the study done six months later.