Grow et al's Your Life is Waiting-Symbolic Meanings in Direct-to-Consumer Antidepressant Advertising

Grow et al's Your Life is Waiting-Symbolic Meanings in Direct-to-Consumer Antidepressant Advertising

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http://jci.sagepub.com Journal of Communication Inquiry DOI: 10.1177/0196859905285315 2006; 30; 163 Journal of Communication Inquiry Jean M. Grow, Jin Seong Park and Xiaoqi Han "Your Life is Waiting!": Symbolic Meanings in Direct-to-Consumer Antidepressant Advertising http://jci.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/30/2/163 The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of: Cultural and Critical Studies Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Commu can be found at: Journal of Communication Inquiry Additional services and information for http://jci.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Email Alerts: http://jci.sagepub.com/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Permissions: http://jci.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/30/2/163 Citations at PRINCETON UNIV LIBRARY on March 24, 2010 http://jci.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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10.1 7 /0196859 05285315 Journal of Com unication Inquiry Grow et al. / Symbolic Meanings in DTC Advertising “Your Life is Waiting!” Symbolic Meanings in Direct-to-Consumer Antidepressant Advertising Jean M. Grow Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Jin Seong Park University of Florida, Gainesville Xiaoqi Han Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin This semiotic analysis demonstrates how pharmaceutical companies strategically frame depression within the hotly contested terrain of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising. The study tracks regulation of the pharmaceutical industry, relative to DTC advertis- ing, including recent industry codes of conduct. Focusing on the antidepressant category, and its three major brands—Paxil (GlaxoSmithKline), Prozac (Eli Lilly), and Zoloft (Pfizer)—this comparative study analyzes 7 years of print advertising following deregu- lation in 1997. The authors glean themes from within the advertising texts, across the drug category and within individual-brand campaigns. The findings indicate that DTC advertising of antidepressants frames depression within the biochemical model of causa- tion, privileges benefits over risks, fails to adequately educate consumers, and frames depression as a female condition. The authors close with commentary on the potential implications, with particular focus on the new codes of conduct, and offer suggestions for future research. Keywords: DTC advertising; pharmaceuticals; antidepressants; depression; regulation We must askourselves: “Are these ads,which weknoware costing billions, properly edu- cating patients or just peddling expensive products?” Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader (Thomaselli, 2005, n.p.) O n August 2, 2005, the Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) released its voluntary code of conduct for direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of pharmaceuticals (Appendix A). The release of these guidelines reflects the pharmaceutical industry’s efforts to refurbish its tarnished image in the wake of
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2010 for the course PSYCH 101 taught by Professor Gabbart during the Spring '08 term at Union College.

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Grow et al's Your Life is Waiting-Symbolic Meanings in Direct-to-Consumer Antidepressant Advertising

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