Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Advertising


Images of scantily clad women are used by advertisers to make products more attractive to men. This “sex sells” approach is increasingly employed to promote ethical causes, most prominently by the animal-rights organization PETA. Yet sexualized images can dehumanize women, leaving an unresolved paradox - is it effective to advertise an ethical cause using unethical means? In Study 1, a sample of Australian male undergraduates (N = 82) viewed PETA advertisements containing either sexualized or non-sexualized images of women. Intentions to support the ethical organization were reduced for those exposed to the sexualized advertising, and this was explained by their dehumanization of the sexualized women, and not by increased arousal. Study 2 used a mixed-gender community sample from the United States (N = 280), replicating this finding and extending it by showing that behaviors helpful to the ethical cause diminished after viewing the sexualized advertisements, which was again mediated by the dehumanization of the women depicted. Alternative explanations relating to the reduced credibility of the sexualized women and their objectification were not supported. When promoting ethical causes, organizations may benefit from using advertising strategies that do not dehumanize women.

Concepts: Female, Advertising, Marketing, Graphic design, Sex in advertising, Objectification, Sexual objectification, Dehumanization


There are concerns that the marketing of e-cigarettes may increase the appeal of tobacco smoking in children. We examined this concern by assessing the impact on appeal of tobacco smoking after exposure to advertisements for e-cigarettes with and without candy-like flavours, such as, bubble gum and milk chocolate.

Concepts: Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, Cigarette, Nicotine, Electronic cigarette, Advertising, Marketing


Aside from New Zealand, the United States is the only country with a strong pharmaceutical regulatory infrastructure that allows direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs in print, broadcast, and electronic media. U.S. consumers are accustomed to full-page ads in newspapers and magazines detailing a drug’s benefits - followed by another page of fine print in which its contraindications, risks, and side effects are spelled out in minute detail and equally minute print. That may soon change, however, as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) moves to enact new regulations regarding risk communication in DTCA. Earlier this year, the FDA sought . . .

Concepts: Pharmacology, United States, Drug, Drugs, Pharmaceutical drug, Advertising, Food and Drug Administration, Direct-to-consumer advertising


Pharmaceutical advertisements have been argued to provide revenue that medical journals require but they are intended to alter prescribing behaviour and they are known to include low quality information. We determined whether a difference exists in the current level of pharmaceutical advertising in print general medical journals, and we estimated the revenue generated from print pharmaceutical advertising.

Concepts: Advertising, The Current, Marketing, Newspaper


To our knowledge, ours is the first study to report on Facebook advertising as an exclusive mechanism for recruiting women ages 35-49 years residing in the USA into a health-related research study. We directed our survey to women ages 35-49 years who resided in the USA exclusively using three Facebook advertisements. Women were then redirected to our survey site. There were 20,568,960 women on Facebook that met the eligibility criteria. The three ads resulted in 899,998 impressions with a reach of 374,225 women. Of the women reached, 280 women (0.075 %) clicked the ad. Of the women who clicked the ad, nine women (3.2 %) proceeded past the introductory page. Social networking, and in particular Facebook, is an innovative venue for recruiting participants for research studies. Challenges include developing an ad to foster interest without biasing the sample, and motivating women who click the ad to complete the survey. There is still much to learn about this potential method of recruitment.

Concepts: United States, Advertising, Reach, Recruitment, MySpace, Frank Lloyd Wright, Facebook, Click


Brands surround us everywhere in daily life. Here we investigate the influences of brand cues on gustatory processing of the same beverage. Participants were led to believe that the brand that announced the administration of a Cola mixture provided correct information about the drink to come. We found stronger fMRI signal in right mOFC during weak compared to strong brand cues in a contrast of parametric modulation with subjective liking. When directly comparing the two strong brands cues, more activation in the right amygdala was found for Coca Cola cues compared with Pepsi Cola cues. During the taste phase the same beverage elicited stronger activation in left ventral striatum when it was previously announced by a strong compared with a weak brand. This effect was stronger in participants who drink Cola infrequently and might therefore point to a stronger reliance on brand cues in less experienced consumers. The present results reveal strong effects of brand labels on neural responses signalling reward.

Concepts: Left-wing politics, Caffeine, Advertising, Coca-Cola, Cola, Pepsi, PepsiCo, Logo


OBJECTIVE: Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the USA. As parents play a major role in shaping a child’s diet, the present study examines food advertisements (ads) directed towards parents in parenting and family magazines. DESIGN: Given the potential for magazines to influence attitudes and knowledge, we used content analysis to examine the food ads appearing in four issues each of six different parenting and family magazines from 2008 (n 24). SETTING: USA. SUBJECTS: Food ads in parenting and family magazines. RESULTS: We identified 476 food ads, which represented approximately 32 % of all ads in the magazine sample. Snack foods (13 %) were the most frequently observed food ads, followed by dairy products (7 %). The most frequently used sales theme was ‘taste’ (55 %). Some ads promoted foods as ‘healthy’ (14 %) and some made specific health claims (18 %), such as asserting the product would help lower cholesterol. In addition to taste and health and nutrition appeals, we found several themes used in ad messages to promote products, including the following: ‘convenience’, ‘economical’, ‘fun’ and ‘helping families spend time together’. We also found that over half (n 405, 55·9 %) of products (n 725) advertised were products of poor nutritional quality based on total fat, saturated fat, sodium, protein, sugar and fibre contents, and that ads for such products were slightly more likely to use certain sales themes like ‘fun’ (P = 0·04) and ‘no guilt’ (P = 0·03). CONCLUSIONS: Interventions should be developed to help parents understand nutritional information seen in food ads and to learn how various foods contribute to providing a balanced family diet.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, Milk, Fat, Food, Advertising, Saturated fat, Meal


The aim of the study was to assess the relative effectiveness of cessation, secondhand smoke and other tobacco control television advertisements in promoting quitlines in nine states from 2002 through 2005. Quarterly, the number of individuals who used quitlines per 10 000 adult smokers in a media market are measured. Negative binomial regression analysis was used to link caller rates to market-level exposure to tobacco control television advertisements overall and by message theme. The relationship between caller rates and advertising exposure was positive and statistically significant (P < 0.001). Advertisements that focus on promoting cessation (P < 0.001), highlighting the dangers of secondhand smoke (P = 0.037), and all other tobacco countermarketing advertisements (P = 0.027) were significantly associated with quitline caller rates. For every 10% increase in exposure to cessation, secondhand smoke and other tobacco countermarketing advertisements, caller rates increased by 1.1, 0.2 and 0.4%, respectively. Caller rates significantly increased in quarters when cigarette excise tax increased (P < 0.001) and when the percentage of the population covered by comprehensive smoke-free air laws increased (P = 0.022). Although advertisements promoting cessation are the most effective in driving quitline use, other topics, such as messages highlighting the dangers of secondhand smoke, also prompt their quitlines.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Statistics, Tobacco, Advertising, Used good, Negative binomial distribution, Infomercial, Excise


OBJECTIVE.: Anti-obesity drugs have been marketed illicitly by “no prescription” online pharmacies after approval and scheduling by the Drug Enforcement Agency. We wished to assess whether anti-obesity drug Belviq® (locaserin HCl) was available from illicit online vendors before DEA-scheduling when sales are unauthorized. DESIGN AND METHODS.: Online searches of “buy Belviq no prescription” examining first five result pages marketing the drug. Searches were performed from 11/5/2012-12/8/2012, prior to DEA scheduing. RESULTS.: Belviq® is actively marketed by “no prescription” online vendors despite official unavailability and prescription requirements. Approaches included direct-to-consumer advertising using descriptive website URLs; linking to illicit marketers; and directing customers to other weight-loss websites for additional marketing.Finally, large quantities were marketed by business-to-business vendors. CONCLUSION.: Illicit online “no prescription” pharmacies are marketingunauthorized, suspect anti-obesity drugs before DEA scheduling and permitted marketing. Regulators must legally intercede to ensure patient safety and providers must educate patients about online-sourcing risks.

Concepts: Advertising, Sales, Marketing, Drug Enforcement Administration, Marketing research, Business-to-business


OBJECTIVE: We examine the extent to which is meeting its goal of providing oversight and transparency of clinical trials with human subjects. We analyzed the database contents as of June 2011, comparing interventions, medical conditions, and trial characteristics by sponsor type. We also conducted a detailed analysis of incomplete data. RESULTS: Among trials with only government sponsorship (N=9,252), 36% were observational and 64% interventional; in contrast, almost all (90%) industry-only sponsored trials were interventional. Industry-only sponsored interventional trials (N=30,036) were most likely to report a drug intervention (81%), followed by biologics (9%) and devices (8%). Government-only interventional trials (N=5,886) were significantly more likely to test behavioral interventions (28%) and procedures (13%) than industry-only trials (p<0.001). Medical conditions most frequently studied in industry-only trials were cancer (19%), cardiovascular conditions (12%) and endocrine/metabolic disorders (11%). Government-only funded trials were more likely to study mental health (19% vs. 7% for industry, p<.001), and viral infections, including HIV, (15% vs 7% for industry, p<.001). Government-funded studies are significantly more likely to be missing data about study design and intervention arms in the registry. For all studies, we report ambiguous and contradictory data entries. CONCLUSIONS: Industry-sponsored studies differ systematically from government-sponsored studies in study type, choice of interventions, conditions studied, and completeness of submitted information. Imprecise study design information, incomplete coding of conditions, out-of-date or unspecified enrollment numbers, and other missing data continue to hinder robust analyses of trials registered in

Concepts: Clinical trial, Infectious disease, Infection,, Advertising, Cultural studies, Intervention, Sponsor