Perceived Third-Person Effects and Consumer Attitudes on Prevetting and Banning DTC Advertising


  • The authors wish to thank Drs. Brenda Cude, Karen King, Wendy Macias, Spencer Tinkham, and George Zinkhan, all of the University of Georgia, for their helpful comments and suggestions.

    The research was partially funded by a grant from the American Academy of Advertising to the second and third authors.


This study examined consumer attitudes toward two potential direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising regulatory options—prior approval of DTC ads and a total ban—and how those attitudes are influenced by perceived DTC ad effects and receiver-specific characteristics within the context of the third-person effect framework. Results suggest that (1) consumers support the prevetting of DTC ads, but not the banning of DTC ads, (2) their support for prior approval is unaffected by demographic, predispositional, and ad-effect perceptual differences, but (3) their support for a ban is associated with age, attitude toward DTC advertising, and perceptions of negative effects on self and others.