Developing trust in direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising : the effects of benefit type and balance of risk and benefit information
MetadataShow full item record
Trust in direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising is declining among consumers. Survey findings suggest providing more information about side effects and benefits to address this issue. Some scholars also criticize the ads for their emotional content despite the key role emotion can play in health-related decision making and trust. Therefore, an experimental study was conducted to assess the relative effectiveness of functional and emotional benefit communication as well the preferred balance of side effects and benefits information provided in DTC pharmaceutical ads in terms of perceived credibility/trust and persuasive outcomes. Results suggest a message including a combination of functional and emotional benefits is considered more credible and informative than an ad describing only emotional benefits. In addition, a high amount of side effect information produces lower brand attitudes and greater perceptions of manipulative intent compared to a low amount of side effect information. Implications for pharmaceutical advertising practitioners and researchers are discussed.