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Six Reasons Proposed Hospital Advertising Ban Will Never Pass

Marianne Aiello, for HealthLeaders Media, March 17, 2010

4. This isn't England
Until 2008, English hospitals weren't allowed to advertise either. Granted, they are all completely government funded. But even English hospitals can now promote themselves via print and radio ads, so long as they use correct statistics and don't bash other hospitals. You know something is wrong if National Health Service hospitals can market themselves and Vermont ones can't.

5. No definition of marketing
One of the biggest hints that this proposal won't come to anything is that it doesn't define  "marketing and advertising." Where would they draw the line? Promoting quality and satisfaction scores? Interacting with the media via public relations? Holding educational info-sessions for consumers? Each of these functions has value to both the hospital and the public.

6. Unintended consequences
If Vermont does ban hospital marketing, there would inevitably be a trickledown effect. Media outlets would lose advertising money, creative and consultant firms would lose clients, and hospital marketers would lose their jobs—none of which would go over well among voters in the Green Mountain State.

They say there's no such thing as a sure thing, but the odds are definitely against this advertising ban ever becoming law. But if it does I'll be sure to write a numbered list of why I was wrong.

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