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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 2976

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: Journal Article

Walton H.
A case for medical journal advertising
Medical Marketing & Media 1978 Aug; 13:37-43


Abstract:

A countrywide sample of 600 private practice physicians, stratified by specialty, made a total of 22,500 observations of 225 medical journal ads for 147 different products. Among the responses recorded were each respondent’s recollection of the ads and an affirmation or denial of prescribing activity in the month prior to the interview. The findings provide convincing evidence that prescribers are relatively more abundant among those who recall journal advertisements than among those who do not.

Keywords:
*analytic survey/United States/journal advertisements/ad recognition/analysis of prescribing pattern/EVALUATION OF PROMOTION: JOURNAL ADVERTISEMENTS/INFLUENCE OF PROMOTION: PRESCRIBING, DRUG USE/PROMOTION AS A SOURCE OF INFORMATION: DOCTORS/PROMOTIONAL TECHNIQUES: JOURNAL ADVERTISEMENTS

 

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Cases of wilful misrepresentation are a rarity in medical advertising. For every advertisement in which nonexistent doctors are called on to testify or deliberately irrelevant references are bunched up in [fine print], you will find a hundred or more whose greatest offenses are unquestioning enthusiasm and the skill to communicate it.

The best defence the physician can muster against this kind of advertising is a healthy skepticism and a willingness, not always apparent in the past, to do his homework. He must cultivate a flair for spotting the logical loophole, the invalid clinical trial, the unreliable or meaningless testimonial, the unneeded improvement and the unlikely claim. Above all, he must develop greater resistance to the lure of the fashionable and the new.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963