Big pharma & celebrities the influence of pharmaceutical industry credibility and endorser credibility on consumer responses to direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising /
Abstract (Summary)The pharmaceutical industry is presently facing a challenge in projecting itself as a credible corporate citizen. Recognizing the effectiveness of celebrities in other product categories, the industry too has employed such spokespeople to re-direct public attention towards its charitable efforts. However, little remains known about the consumer population’s attitudes towards the industry and its endorsers. Therefore, studying the influence of perceived industry credibility and endorser credibility on consumers’ perceptions and responses to direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising (DTCA) seems both contemporary and germane. This research utilized a randomized post-test only experimental design integrating mall-intercept surveys (n=218), to assess differences in consumer perceptions and responses to a celebrity vs. typical man-on-the street endorser in a fictitious DTC ad. Additionally, it measured consumers’ perceptions towards the credibility of the pharmaceutical industry. Employing structural equation modeling, we tested competing models hypothesizing relationships between the credibility of dual message sources in a DTC ad– the pharmaceutical industry and the endorser, and traditional measures of ad effectiveness. This study finds that a celebrity is no more credible or effective than a non-celebrity as an endorser in a branded DTC ad. However, the credibility of dual sources in the DTC ad exerts a synergistic influence on consumers’ attitude toward the ad. In turn, this exerts a significant effect on brand attitudes and likelihood of discussing the advertised drug with the physician. The results imply that the pharmaceutical industry must attempt to improve its public image if it is to obtain a successful return on brand and corporate advertising investment. Moreover, a cost-effective branded DTC strategy would be to employ believable endorsers, regardless of their celebrity status, to induce favorable reactions from the audience.
School:The University of Georgia
School Location:USA - Georgia
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication: