Consumer responses towards non-prescription and prescription drug advertising in the US and Germany: they don't really like it, but they do believe it

Sandra Diehl
Saarland University, Germany

Barbara Mueller
San Diego State University, US

Ralf Terlutter
University of Klagenfurt, Austria


Pharmaceutical advertising has become an important and widely discussed issue among both researchers and practitioners (e.g. Auton 2004; Huh & Becker 2005; Huh & Langteau 2007; Lee et al. 2007). Pharmaceutical advertising can be defined as messages created by marketers of pharmaceutical products that attempt to inform, persuade and even entertain members of the target audience with the goal of influencing recipients' attitudes – and ultimately behaviour – in a favourable manner. Examples of pharmaceutical advertising include TV commercials, print messages, internet advertisements or websites, as well as information distributed via package inserts. Within the broader category of pharmaceutical advertising, a distinction can be made between non-prescription and prescription drug advertising.