Fault’ genes and false needs? A critical review on the direct-to-consumer marketing of genetic tests
journal contributionposted on 2017-08-24, 10:58 authored by Georgios Patsiaouras
Since the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, the field of personalized medicine based on genetic data has been growing at a phenomenal pace. However, very limited research exists about the marketing practices of companies which promote and sell DNA ancestry and health-related genetic tests directly to the public. Based on a thorough analysis from a variety of online and offline secondary data - such as the content of commercial websites and interdisciplinary studies - this paper seeks to critically examine, discuss and highlight some key issues arising from the process of commercializing genetic tests. Firstly, the study indicates the emergence of a growing consumer marketplace for genetic data that provides to customers a digital space for interaction, construction of biological consumer identities and a sense of belonging. Secondly, the paper critically discusses how advertising messages of genetic tests employ the concepts of ‘consumer empowerment’ and ‘consumer choice.’ Finally, the author offers recommendations on ethical issues stemming from the marketing of genetic material related to consumers’ genetic literacy and understanding of basic genetic information.
CitationThe Marketing Review, 2017, 17 (2), pp. 217-237(21)
Author affiliation/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of Management
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)