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Hospitals spend a lot of money on advertising, but the ads lack variation, study says

March 05, 2019 / Jeff Lagasse

The Philadelphia area boasts one of the highest concentrations of hospital services in the U.S., but the print advertising themes for regional hospitals lack variation, finds a new study by health administration researchers at Drexel University. That conclusion is based on hospital ads that appeared in the weekly health section of the Philadelphia Inquirer from May 2013 to April 2016. The authors say hospital advertising creative teams may be unaware they're using the same themes of either "patients" or "health providers" as their focus. There's nothing inherently wrong with advertising focusing on patients, but sound marketing principle dictates differentiating among competitors -- something Philadelphia hospitals seldom do.