Distraction and the Provision of Risk and Benefit Information in Prescription Drug Television Advertising Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Harlow, Jennifer
    • Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media
  • Direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs is one of the fastest growing and most controversial forms of consumer marketing. One criticism of DTC advertising is that it misleads consumers by providing them with benefit information while distracting them from information about drug risks. Despite this, there has been very little scholarly research about the prevalence of distracting elements during the presentation of risk and benefit information in DTC television advertising. This thesis was designed to fill this gap in literature and its purpose is two-fold. First, the thesis proposes a definition of distraction in television advertising, drawing from the capacity model of attention and the related conceptual frameworks of information load and information relevance. Second, it reports the results of a content analysis of 58 DTC television advertisements. Findings suggest that some forms of distraction are more prevalent during risk information than during claims about drug benefits. Given the pervasiveness of DTC advertising on television, this study has clear implications for consumers, public policy makers, health care providers, and pharmaceutical marketers.
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  • In Copyright
  • Hennink-Kaminski, Heidi
  • Open access

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