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Healthcare Providers Using Campaign Shock Tactics Must Undertake Research to Ascertain Effectiveness, Says Cint

STOCKHOLM, March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — With the emergence of more hard-hitting health campaigns, launched by governments and healthcare organizations, it appears shock tactics are being favored as the way to get messages out to the public on issues such as obesity and smoking. However, Cint, a global provider of solutions for obtaining market insight, is advising that research should be undertaken to ensure such an approach is the most effective, in comparison to disseminating the message in a subtler way.


In previous years, a 'nudge' theory approach has been taken to health messages. This tactic has had its supporters and many believed this was more successful in encouraging people to change their lifestyle, rather than being dictatorial. But with a strain on services, particularly in those countries that provide free healthcare, methods are changing in order to hit a nerve with the public.

Cint poses the question, what consumer research has been undertaken to support either approach? With worrying figures on obesity, its rise and the prediction it will continue to do so, it is understandable, that private healthcare organizations and governments might look to use shocking images to instigate faster change. However, with marketing budgets tight across both private and public sectors, establishments must be sure campaigns are having the desired effect and are therefore, providing a return on investment.

Cint's CEO, Bo Mattsson, explains, "It is easy to understand why scare tactics might be seen to have a greater effect in changing perceptions and habits of certain lifestyle factors, but without market intelligence to back it up, these campaigns could be wasting resources. While it's fairly safe to assume that shock tactics will be a deterrent or a habit-changer for some, it could also be presumed that for others, it may not work. Some people might feel like they're being dictated to, or it could simply cause them to ignore the risks and bury their head in the sand.

"Brands have long been using consumer research panels to gather opinions and help them develop marketing campaigns that will hit the mark. When it comes to ensuring the right approach for public health activity, it should be no different, and one could argue it's an even more important requirement."

Cint offers a range of market research software to obtain opinions from people around the globe. For further information, please visit

Contact – Keredy Andrews, Email, 0044 1858 411 600