It is very important to highlight the difference between healthcare marketing and other fields’ advertisement. In other fields, consumers understand how to differentiate between products and most buyers can relate their needs to the specifications of the products to fit their interest. On the other hand, healthcare consumers mostly accept the healthcare providers’ word as is with faith and trust. As a result, healthcare providers, ethically and legally, carry the responsibility to become truthful and faithful about all their promises, actions, and intentions. Consequently, healthcare marketing, as an essential component of healthcare organizations, must purposefully follow the same rules. This paper will summarize the article “Advertising gone Too Far” and evaluate the effects of the ethics of healthcare marketing on both consumerism and the healthcare organizations themselves. It will also analyze the effects of the regulations and overseeing organizations on the delivery of healthcare with a proposal as to how to ensure compliance.
Advertising Gone Too Far
This article highlights the remarkable changes in healthcare marketing over the last few decades; from being a passive secondary measure to becoming an essential active component of any healthcare organization. The changes have become more prominent with the widespread of the healthcare consumerism trend that offers consumers more options and choices than ever. In that regard, the author strongly supports the role of healthcare marketing as a tool used to encourage patients to become more engaged in their care. But often, today’s media presents loads of healthcare advertisement that usually ignores the regulations and uses biased information in support to their false deceptive claims.
The rules of healthcare marketing are regulated mainly by American Marketing Association (Gershon & Buerstatte, 2003), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), American College of Healthcare Executives, American Hospital Association, and the Catholic Hospital Association (Quinn, 2008). FTC rules prohibit the use of any false representation or hiding any information that, if released, might protect the consumer from buying the wrong advertised-for products or services. The article, also, discusses the complexity of such rules as it is difficult to prove, beyond doubt, the harmful potential of improper advertisement. It is also not easy to get FTC to investigate or to take action in accordance to competitor’s false claims or deceptive advertisement simply because of their low budget and limited resources. However, it can be helpful to seek support from a senator or a congressman as they may have better luck getting the HTC involved.
While violations may take place in several ways, most cases violate Lanham act rules. Briefly, anyone who thinks that he/she may get harm from advertisement based on any false claim has the right to file a civil case against the advertiser. Another recent but common violation is the use of...