Consumers' reactions to U.S. Food and drug administration-approved claims in print direct-to-consumer advertising

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Objective: To promote consumer trust in their advertisements, in recent years, pharmaceutical marketers have increased the use of third-party organization (TPO) endorsement claims (e.g., statements such as first and only U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA]- approved treatment) in direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs. However, there is no documented evidence of the impact of such statements on consumers' attitudes and behaviors. Therefore, the objective of this study is twofold: (1) examine the influence of trust cues (i.e., TPO endorsement claims) on the perceived trust in the print DTC ad and (2) explore the relationship between consumers' perceived trust in the print DTC ad and attitudinal and behavioral responses toward the advertised brand. Methods: In a randomized post-test only design, data will be obtained via Qualtrics online survey panel. Data for 264 (statistical power of 0.8 at α = 0.05; estimated medium effect size, f = 0.25) English-speaking U.S. adult female participants (aged 18 years or older) will be collected. Three versions (expert TPO claim vs. non-expert TPO claim vs. no TPO claim) of the print DTC ad for a fictitious eyelash enhancement product will be created for the study. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of the three advertising stimuli. Participants will first review the ad and then respond to a questionnaire measuring the study constructs. Data will be analyzed using multivariate analysis of covariance and hierarchical regression techniques. Results: Empirical evidence from marketing and advertising literature suggests that TPO endorsers have the potential to influence consumers' judgments and decisions. Accordingly, we expect to see a significant impact of the TPO endorsements, especially for expert TPO endorsement (i.e., FDA-approved claims), on consumers attitudinal and behavioral outcomes, and result in increased trust in the advertisement. Further, the increased trust in the advertisement will serve as a significant predictor of the advertising outcome variables.

Publication Title

Journal of the American Pharmacists Association





First Page



Conference abstract published in Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, Volume 55, Issue 2, Pages e192.

Presented at AphA2015, March 2015, San Diego, CA.

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