consumer response to print prescription drug advertising

Abhilasha Mehta
and
Scott C. Purvis
Gallup & Robinson, Inc

Even as the controversy around direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug advertising continues to gain momentum, advertising budgets for these products are escalating. Pharmaceutical companies spent $1.8 billion on advertising in 1999, up from $1.3 billion in 1998, and $1 billion in 1997 (Kranhold, 2000). How do the consumers, targets of this advertising, feel about DTC advertising? How effective is this advertising and who reads it? What actions, if any, are taken after exposure to these advertisements? This article is designed to answer these questions by exploring consumer reactions to DTC advertising and evaluating their readership of and response to this type of advertising among women magazine readers. The results should help in providing directions for the pharmaceutical industry in planning their marketing communications strategies and offering information for the development of guidelines for this emerging advertising category.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE