How Do Consumers Interpret Market Leadership Claims in Direct-To-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs?

John Swasy, American University
Anu Mitra, American University

How Do Consumers Interpret Market Leadership Claims in Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs?

 

Anu Mitra, American University

Jack Swasy, American University

Kathryn Aikin, Food and Drug Administration

 

Abstract  

            Claims such as “most prescribed” are commonly made by top-selling prescription drug brands in their direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising. Under the FDA’s current policy, sponsors may present “market leadership claims” (MLCs) with only sales data to support the claim.  This paper examines how MLCs might affect consumers’ product judgments and whether such claims evoke unwarranted inferences and beliefs about the superiority of the leading brand.

            Results of two studies suggest that market leadership claims in DTC advertising signal greater trust of the brand among prescribing doctors and imply superior product effectiveness under conditions when supporting survey and clinical data to support such inferences have not
[ to cite ]:
John Swasy and Anu Mitra (2006) ,"How Do Consumers Interpret Market Leadership Claims in Direct-To-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 381-387.