Why DTC advertising has failed in the United States and how it can succeed

Date of publication: February 17, 2002


Since restrictions on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising were loosened in 1997, spending on DTC advertising in the United States has quadrupled. Now the European Union may soon begin testing DTC advertising, but not much consumer research on DTC advertising has been published. The only consumer voices that have been heard much in the United States have been the voices of the anti-pharmaceutical consumer groups quoted in the media. Consumer input on DTC advertising should be an important contribution to the public dialogue on pharmaceutical marketing policies. The authors of this paper set out to research general consumer attitudes about and reactions to DTC advertising in the United States to see what has worked and what has not.

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