Serious Warnings on Drugs
Paradoxically Increase Sales

Kermit Cole
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Researchers from Tel Aviv, Singapore and New York find that  although “Warnings that a promoted product can have adverse side effects (e.g., smoking cigarettes can cause cancer) should dampen the product’s allure “, that instead participants who had seen an ad noting the benefits of the product but warning of risky side effects bought more than those who had seen an ad noting only benefits.” The study appears in the September issue of Psychological Science.

Press Release →

Steinhart, Y., Carmon, Z., Trope, Y.;  Warnings of Adverse Side Effects Can Backfire Over Time. Psychological Science. September 2013 24(9) 1842-1847. doi: 10.1177/0956797613478948

Of further interest:
Serious side-effects warnings can increase drug sales: study (PharmaTimes)
Can Rx Drug Trash Talk – Litany of Side Effects – in DTC Ads Increase Sales? (Pharma Marketing Blog)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

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