Advertising in Health Communication: Promoting Pharmaceuticals and Dietary Supplements to U.S. Consumers Denise E. DeLorme, Jisu Huh, Leonard N. Reid, and Soontae An
Pharmaceutical companies and dietary supplement manufacturers use consumer advertising to market and sell prescription (Rx) medicines, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and dietary supplements (DS). Spending on consumer-targeted advertising for pharmaceuticals and supplements is substantial, and advertising for these products is an important source of public health information and a signifi cant infl uence on consumer behavior (DeLorme, Huh, & Reid, 2007a). Pragmatically speaking, pharmaceutical advertising is used to produce specifi c communication eff ects, and the communication tasks assigned to consumer advertising always work in relation to the other elements of integrated marketing communication (public relations, sales promotion, personal selling). However, pharmaceutical advertising is intended to infl uence purchase behavior by moving consumers through a series of hierarchical steps; for example, leading them from attention comprehension yielding to conclusion retention of the belief behaving (see McGuire, 1978; Menon, Deshpande, Zinkhan, & Perri, 2004).