Direct-to-consumer advertisements for prescription drugs as an argumentative activity type

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With direct-to-consumer advertisements (DTCA), pharmaceutical companies can market their prescription drugs directly to consumers. In order to properly study the argumentative aspects of these advertisements from a pragma-dialectical perspective, it is necessary to characterize DTCA as an ‘argumentative activity type’. This characterization shows that in DTCA, the advertiser combines two genres of communicative activity: promotion and consultation. The use of promotion stems from the advertiser’s commercial objective of selling products, while the use of consultation is a result of the legal obligation to present a fair balance between arguments for and against the use of a drug.


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