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Moving from the highly competitive over-the-coun-ter drug business, Bob Carraher helped bring an important idea to marketing Ginsana dietary supplements: Treat them like an OTC brand.

"We market the brand Ginsana, not [the main ingredient] ginseng," says Mr. Carraher, director of marketing at Pharmaton Natural Health Products. "How many people know what's in Tylenol? It's about 'What's the name; what does it do?'*"

Launched in 1982, sales of Ginsana rose 11% in 1996 to $40.25 million, according to Pharmaton, controlling 50% of the ginseng product market.

Mr. Carraher attributes part of the brand's success to its ability to put claims on the box supported by research-something few dietary supplements do.

Ginsana also led the way among supplements onto national TV in January 1996, using basketball star Scottie Pippen, with an estimated $16 million budget.

The advertising built acceptance at drugstores.

"I wish I could say it was my idea but Scottie called me-that's the beauty of this story," says Mr. Carraher, adding that Ginsana ads with the star are used from Israel to New Zealand.

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