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“Not in front of your mother!”: online marketing for pharmaceutical products addressing taboo topics

Ursula Wrobel (Ursula Wrobel is based at Europa‐Universtät Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany.)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 1 March 2002

1909

Abstract

The paper borrows inspiration from three main sources: international marketing research, semiotic theory and communication studies. It explores online marketing for pharmaceutical products related to taboo topics. A qualitative analysis of a German Web site brings out strategies employed to market sensitive products. The three main strategies are analysed on a visual and verbal level. Multicodality, code switching, dynamisation of code and non‐sequential data structure are purposefully combined to communicate effectively with the user. It is argued that product marketing via Web sites is a balancing act between globalisation and localisation; global marketing aiming at economies of scale and local marketing at context‐sensitive communication – with both depending on each other for their own success.

Keywords

Citation

Wrobel, U. (2002), "“Not in front of your mother!”: online marketing for pharmaceutical products addressing taboo topics", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 19-27. https://doi.org/10.1108/13522750210414481

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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