Correction of overstatement and omission in direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising
Little experimental evidence exists regarding corrective television advertising as a remedy for misleading direct-to-consumer prescription drug ads. We examined how exposure to an ad for a fictitious prescription drug that appeared to offer benefits and risks superior to normative standards for asthma medication (i.e., a simulated violative ad) and a corresponding corrective ad shaped viewer perceptions, understanding, and intended behavior. Through an experiment with 1,057 participants, we found that a corrective ad counteracted viewer belief of an overstatement of efficacy claim, but was less successful in counteracting omission of risk. Corrective ad exposure also affected general viewer perceptions of, and intended behaviors toward, the drug.