Direct-To-Consumer Advertising: Obliged to Be Healthy

ABSTRACT - Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs is a relatively recent form of marketing communication. Advocates suggest that DTCA both informs and empowers patients/consumers. But viewed from a wider sociological perspective, DTCA is premised upon and extends aspects of lifestyle choice, self-responsibility and risk assessment. As a result, DTCA promotes a medicalized view of society, where everyday aspects of life come to be defined as medical problems seeking the input of medical specialists and medical technology. The anti-obesity drug Xenical provides context for DTCA in this paper. Xenical, as an example of a 'lifestyle drug’, uses the body as a focus of disciplinary power for surveillance medicine. Within a health promotion framework, individuals targeted by DTCA are obliged to govern themselves in the interests of their own health.


Andrew Jardine (2004) ,"Direct-To-Consumer Advertising: Obliged to Be Healthy", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 31, eds. Barbara E. Kahn and Mary Frances Luce, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 485-490.


Andrew Jardine, University of Otago


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 31 | 2004

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Can Fear Be Eaten? Emotional and Behavioral Consequences of Intake of Fear-inducing Food or Drink

Jiangang Du, Nankai University
Qiuying Zheng, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine
Michael K. Hui, Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
Xiucheng Fan, Fudan University, China

Read More


A Rational Model to Predict Consumers’ Irrational Behavior

Vahid Rahmani, Rowan University

Read More


Out of Your League: Women’s Luxury Products as Signals to Men

Yajin Wang, University of Maryland, USA
Vladas Griskevicius, University of Minnesota, USA
Qihui Chen, Peking University

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.