Given the importance of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in the health care marketplace and lack of systematic research on OTC drug advertising (OTCA) effects, this study tested a theory-based, product category-specific OTCA effects model. Structural equation modeling analysis of data for 1 OTC drug category, analgesics, supported the proposed model, explaining the OTCA effect process from key consumer antecedents to ad involvement, from ad involvement to ad attention, from ad attention to cognitive responses, then to affective/evaluative responses, leading to the final behavioral outcome. Several noteworthy patterns also emerged: (a) Product involvement was directly linked to ad attention, rather than exerting an indirect influence through ad involvement; (b) ad attention was significantly related to both cognitive and affective/evaluative responses to different degrees, with stronger links to cognitive responses; and (c) ad-prompted actions were influenced by both ad trust and ad attitude.
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