This article provides a critical analysis of the growing use of social marketing in the field of health promotion. Three questions are asked about each of the proposed tenets of social marketing: are these ideas new? are they more effective than current health promotion practices? and do they raise any particular ethical concerns? There are some problematic unintended consequences that arise from the use of social marketing methods. The narrow focus on individual behavior change and the potentially manipulative techniques for inducing behavior change are of particular concern. The paper concludes with a call for further discussion about the limits and potential iatrogenic side-effects of
using social marketing strategies for health promotion.
Social marketing: a critical appraisal... Social marketing and communication in health promotion.