Warning of Potential Side Effects of a Product Can Increase its Sales


It is often said that Drug ads warn of baleful side effects, from nausea and bleeding to blindness, even fatal death. The New research suggests that these warnings can ameliorate consumers’ opinions and incline product sales when there is a delay between seeing the ad and finalizing to buy or consume the product.

These warning messages about potentially harmful side effects positively with the intent to nudge them to act more cautiously – can eventually backfire. Number of analysis explored how adding a warning of potential side effects affects consumer decision making. Some of the report suggests that how detailed, clear, and scary many warnings had become with regard to potential negative side-effects of products. In conclusion such warnings might perversely boost rather than detract from the appeal of the risky product.

A potent example illustrated that smokers saw an ad for a brand of cigarettes: one version of the ad included a warning that smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, and emphysema, while another version did not comprise the warning. The active participants who had the chance to purchase the cigarettes soon after seeing the ad bought less if the ad they saw included the warning.

Similarly the active participants who were given the opportunity to purchase the cigarettes a few days later bought more if the ad included the warning. The same outcome emerged when the researchers ran a similar experiment with ads for artificial sweeteners.

The study illustrated that the warnings backfired since the psychological distance created by the delay between exposure to the ad and the customer decision made the side effects seem abstract—participants came to see the warning as an indication of the firm’s honesty and trustworthiness.

All the cogent studies suggests that important warnings about dangerous side effect will make people think twice before taking medical risks, these findings suggests otherwise. It ultimately brings greater attention to their potential to backfire.

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