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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 3 efforts, and the eventual launch of the company’s GARDASIL vaccination, this study targets the ethical foundation of social marketing masquerades and commercialized deception. Social Trust Theory & Public Health Campaigns Shore (2010) explains, “Just as trust is good medicine, it is also good business; high levels of trust both further an organization's mission and help build its margin. Indeed, it may not be too much to say that the organization that owns trust owns its marketplace” (p.36). On June 8, 2006, the world’s first HPV vaccination, one intended to prevent cervical cancer, received FDA approval. This medical breakthrough not only provided a promising preventative treatment for the predicted 80% of sexually active women who are at risk of acquiring an HPV infection by age 50 (Schwartz, 2006), but also presented an appropriate occasion to communicate critical risk messages to the public. Recognizing an opportunity to spread awareness, on November 13, 2006, pharmaceutical conglomerate Merck & Co, Inc., announced the launch of a national print, television and online advertising campaign for the GARDASIL (R) vaccination (Petersen, 2006). Because pharmaceutics are “beginning to take on the role of primary health care providers,” iscalco, Daniloski, and Brinberg (2010) warn that “as pharmacists begin to dispense medical advice as well as medicine, there is an increased need for research on the determinants of trust in the pharmacist-client relationship” (p.18). Prior to the company’s release of GARDASIL, Merck Pharmaceuticals launched two public health campaigns before receiving FDA approval for the HPV vaccination, sparking debate over the intentions of the multinational pharmaceutical corporation. Though controversy surrounds Merck’s premature release of the non-branded “Tell Someone” and “Make the Connection” public health announcements, including accusations from critics claiming the company practiced deceptive advertising by developing a health issue facade in the interest of

Authors: Crosswell, Laura.
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efforts, and the eventual launch of the company’s GARDASIL vaccination, this study targets the 
ethical foundation of social marketing masquerades and commercialized deception.  
Social Trust Theory & Public Health Campaigns  
Shore (2010) explains, “Just as trust is good medicine, it is also good business; high 
levels of trust both further an organization's mission and help build its margin. Indeed, it may not 
be too much to say that the organization that owns trust owns its marketplace” (p.36). On June 8, 
2006, the world’s first HPV vaccination, one intended to prevent cervical cancer, received FDA 
approval. This medical breakthrough not only provided a promising preventative treatment for 
the predicted 80% of sexually active women who are at risk of acquiring an HPV infection by 
age 50 (Schwartz, 2006), but also presented an appropriate occasion to communicate critical risk 
messages to the public. Recognizing an opportunity to spread awareness, on November 13, 2006, 
pharmaceutical conglomerate Merck & Co, Inc., announced the launch of a national print, 
television and online advertising campaign for the GARDASIL (R) vaccination (Petersen, 2006). 
Because pharmaceutics are “beginning to take on the role of primary health care providers,” 
iscalco, Daniloski, and Brinberg (2010) warn that “as pharmacists begin to dispense medical 
advice as well as medicine, there is an increased need for research on the determinants of trust in 
the pharmacist-client relationship” (p.18). 
Prior to the company’s release of GARDASIL, Merck Pharmaceuticals launched two 
public health campaigns before receiving FDA approval for the HPV vaccination, sparking 
debate over the intentions of the multinational pharmaceutical corporation. Though controversy 
surrounds Merck’s premature release of the non-branded “Tell Someone” and “Make the 
Connection” public health announcements, including accusations from critics claiming the 
company practiced deceptive advertising by developing a health issue facade in the interest of 

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