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Educational Crusade or Product Masquerade? Exploring the Commercialization of Social Responsibility in America's Healthcare Industry
Unformatted Document Text:  COMMERCIALIZATION OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 1 Abstract Aiming to uncover the societal implications of Merck Pharmaceutical’s recently launched, multi-phased, social marketing health campaign, and intending to reveal the underlying variables of affective and conative consumer processing, this investigation leans on group discussion to more deeply examine the company’s HPV/GARDASIL campaign. By utilizing social trust theory, and reinforcing the philosophical model with contemporary social marketing research, this exploratory study employs focus group methodology to gauge the ways in which specific branding techniques influence viewers in their perceptions of and reactions to Merck’s health awareness messages. The analysis explores Merck’s HPV social marketing effort and the methods by which the health messages created demand for, and ultimately launched, the company’s HPV vaccination, GARDASIL. This study questions the ethical foundation of Merck’s campaign strategy, and in a broader sense, encourages a movement towards modernizing marketing research.

Authors: Crosswell, Laura.
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Aiming to uncover the societal implications of Merck Pharmaceutical’s recently 
launched, multi-phased, social marketing health campaign, and intending to reveal the 
underlying variables of affective and conative consumer processing, this investigation leans on 
group discussion to more deeply examine the company’s HPV/GARDASIL campaign. By 
utilizing social trust theory, and reinforcing the philosophical model with contemporary social 
marketing research, this exploratory study employs focus group methodology to gauge the ways 
in which specific branding techniques influence viewers in their perceptions of and reactions to 
Merck’s health awareness messages. The analysis explores Merck’s HPV social marketing effort 
and the methods by which the health messages created demand for, and ultimately launched, the 
company’s HPV vaccination, GARDASIL. This study questions the ethical foundation of 
Merck’s campaign strategy, and in a broader sense, encourages a movement towards 
modernizing marketing research. 

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