"I Want to Be One Less": The Rhetoric of Choice in Gardasil Ads

Carolina Fernandez Branson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


It is nearly impossible to watch television without encountering advertisements for pharmaceuticals that purport to ease a plethora of medical concerns. From restless leg syndrome to heartburn, there are new drugs available for a wide variety of health-related conditions. One of the more controversial remedies on this list is the Gardasil vaccine. Gardasil was designed by the drug company Merck to protect against 4 strains of the sexually transmitted disease human papillomavirus. According to the Gardasil website, one of the human papillomavirus strains that Gardasil protects against causes 70% of cervical cancers. Marketing Gardasil as a miracle product and an anticancer vaccine, Merck in 2006 launched a massive public relations campaign to encourage all young women between 9 and 26 years of age to receive Gardasil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-158
Number of pages15
JournalCommunication Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


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