SAGE Journal Articles

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Ledford, C. J. W. (2009). Content analysis of internet marketing strategies: How pharmaceutical companies communicate about contraceptives with consumers online. Social Marketing Quarterly, 15, 55-71. doi:10.1080/15245000903038308

As the Internet has grown as a powerful source for consumer health information seekers, it has also become a commercial tool for marketing health products and services. Along with direct-to-consumer television and print advertising, websites present consumers with prescription drug options outside the context of the clinic. While consumers who encounter health product commercials in television and print are likely to recognize their promotional nature, when they seek health information on the Internet, the distinctions between marketing and health education may be blurred. Recognizing women as a primary target of this marketing, the social amplification of risk framework and elaboration likelihood model guided a content analysis of ten promotional contraceptive websites, sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. Overall, the websites promoted physiological advantages other than the effectiveness of the contraceptive itself, convenience, and the drugs’ relative lower risk as compared to other forms of contraception. Websites presented risk information in text smaller than the majority of text and at the end of the webpage, requiring the user to scroll down to view the information. The websites also presented content and design strategies that social marketers can employ in the design of public health websites, such as the expert and peer sources presented, ethnic diversity of women depicted, and the plain language, non-branded website addresses used.

Wang, X., & McClung, S. R. (2011). Toward a detailed understanding of illegal digital downloading intentions: An extended theory of planned behavior approach. New Media & Society, 13(4), 663-677. doi:10.1177/1461444810378225

Because theory-based research can provide a better understanding of the psychological motivations and reasons why college students intend to engage in illegal digital downloading, this project is conducted from the perspectives of the theory of planned behavior, attitude functional theory and the social norms approach. Based on a survey of 552 college students, results revealed that students who believed that illegal downloading would help save money and was convenient and those who did not want to be termed as being afraid of risk were more likely to download illegally, whereas those who had illegality concerns and high moral standards were less likely to download illegally. In addition, perceived social approval for downloading, but not the perceived frequency of others’ downloading behaviors, predicted intentions to download. This study argues that the integration of the three theoretical frameworks provides more meaningful, yet parsimonious guidance for designing antipiracy campaigns.