Healthcare Advertising: Do Consumers Really Hate Our Ads?

Advertising tags cloudA recent poll indicates consumers actually have a positive attitude towards advertising.

Everybody is skeptical today, right? Nobody believes anything anymore. And certainly advertising is not to be trusted. This is sometimes the prevailing thought. Some believe that advertising is a waste and all of us involved in the craft are slimy, manipulative, greedy, self-serving hacks.

Not according to a study by Neilsen Media, ” Trust, Value and Engagement in Advertising” . More than 25,000 consumers were polled and revealed that consumers actually have a generally positive attitude toward advertising. Here are some interesting findings:

1.   Over 71% of the respondents believe advertising contributes to the growth of the economy.

2.   More than 68% agree that advertising stimulates the economy leading to better products and lower prices.

3.   Over 70% of North Americans responded that advertising provides useful  information that allows them to make better choices.

And despite what you may hear there was not a huge gap in credibility between traditional and non-traditional media, although text ads on mobile phones finished at the very bottom of the trust ratings with very low scores. And what may be even more surprising, trust in advertising overall was up from the 2007 survey.

And we can certainly conclude that healthcare advertising is no different. In fact, healthcare advertising, because it speaks to one of the most important aspects in a person’s life, has even more credibility and trustworthiness.       

So those of us in the business really aren’t as lowly as snake oil salesmen. There is credibility and effectiveness in what we do. The results of the survey are encouraging. But they will remain that way only if we take our responsibilities seriously by dealing fairly with the facts and always speaking the truth and never misleading.

Advertising is powerful and can be extremely effective, but that will only be true if we are honest, fair, and truthful. It is a serious and important responsibility. And in healthcare advertising we must accept an ever-higher burden of responsibility.

Skeptics can say what they want about the value of advertising but the only real enemy is ourselves. We can quickly destroy consumer confidence in our industry if we don’t hold ourselves to the highest possible standard.

Yes we will be aggressive in our efforts, but if we continue to accept the responsibility of truthfulness and fairness, we can continue to be proud of what we do. And by providing helpful and accurate information through our advertising we will also enhance and improve the lives of consumers who value and benefit from what we do.


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