A grounded theory study was undertaken to gain insight into the processes underpinning health visiting. It was found that health visitors introduce their services into the client domain via a process constructed in this study as ‘marketing’. This process involves different strategies to adjust the content, presentation and distribution of health visiting to the particular client or situation. While the result of this process might also lead to gaining the client's collaboration, two undesirable effects are identified: that of creating dependence on the service and that of perpetuating unfair situations.