A NEW study finds people living under threat of terrorism often compulsively purchase goods to relieve their stress.
Ayalla Ruvio, an assistant professor of marketing at Michigan State University, examined the behavior of residents of Sderot, the southern Israeli town that has faced years of sporadic bombardment from Palestinian rockets fired from neighboring Hamas-controlled Gaza.
“When faced with a mortal threat such as a terrorist attack, highly materialistic individuals report higher levels of post-traumatic stress, compulsive consumption, and impulsive buying than their less materialistic counterparts,” the study concludes
But of course, the ad agencies and marketers already knew that. Just observe the stress-inducing alarmist commercials that promote fear and urge consumers to “buy now” to take advantage of a “limited time offer”, create a kind of traumatic stress
An insurance company has just been reprimanded by the UK’s regulator of advertising, the Advertising Standards Authority, for using fear to sell private health insurance on its website.
The website included a series of quotes from newspaper articles on a National Health Service (NHS) England review of the quality of care and treatment provided by 14 hospital trusts in England. The website referred to the situation as the “NHS crisis”, highlighting the “staggering 13,000 deaths”, that these were “likely to have been a tragic consequence of negligence” and concluded that private health insurance could “save your life!”.
The relevant advertising code prohibits marketing communications from causing fear or distress without justifiable reason.