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Behavioral Intentions and Information-Seeking Behavior: A Comparison of Nonbranded Versus Branded Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Advertisements

Title
Behavioral Intentions and Information-Seeking Behavior: A Comparison of Nonbranded Versus Branded Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Advertisements

Abstract
A recent trend in DTC advertising has been the increasing presence of nonbranded, or helpseeking, ads. These ads make no mention of a branded medication, using only the pharmaceutical manufacturer as an identifier. Though these ads have been around since the inception of DTC, no direct comparison to the branded counterpart has been conducted in the literature. An online survey panel was used to examine the effects of these two DTC ad types, branded and nonbranded, on behavioral intentions. Whether these self-reported measures of intent correlated to a predefined informationseeking behavior was also analyzed. Results showed that subjects who either viewed the nonbranded ad or had a high level of disease state involvement had more positive behavioral intentions. Overall, intent did not correlate to the predefined behavior. However, those with higher behavioral intentions performed the behavior significantly more. Nonbranded ads induced greater behavioral intentions, which could lead to more physician discussions and increased information-seeking behavior. Given DTC’s goal of increasing physician interaction, these results suggest nonbranded ads can be a viable and very productive part of the marketing mix.