Does marketing products as remedies create "get out of jail free cards"?

Lisa E. Bolton, Joel B. Cohen, Paul N. Bloom

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Our research investigates the marketing of preventive and curative "remedies" (products and services that offer ways of mitigating risk by decreasing either its likelihood or severity). Examples include debt consolidation loans and smoking cessation aids. Like risk-avoidance messages, advertisements for remedies aim to reduce risk - by advocating the use of the branded product or service promoted by the marketer. In a series of experiments, we demonstrate that remedy messages undermine risk perceptions and increase risky behavioral intentions as consumer problem status rises. Ironically, remedies undermine risk avoidance among those most at risk - a boomerang effect with negative consequences for consumer welfare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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