Should Hospitals Be Spending Lots Of Money On Advertising?

With all the fracas over health care costs in America, here’s a startling statistic: advertising spending by hospitals, clinics and medical centers rose 20.4 percent, to $717.2 million, in the first 6 months of this year alone compared to the same period last year.

The New York Times looks at some campaigns around the country, including this print ad from Seattle agency Frank Unlimited for its client, Everett Clinic:

Obviously, hospital and clinic marketing is a boon for many small and mid-size agencies. And for medical facilities, if you can appeal to an audience that’s looking for proactive care or needs services like maternity, then you might attract more affluent customers who are likely privately insured (as opposed to say, Medicare and Medicaid which reimburses doctors and hospitals at lower rates). But you have to wonder if some politician somewhere is going to try to score some points by tying increased marketing costs to increased overall healthcare costs.

Does hospital marketing work on you? Are you loyal to a local medical center, clinic or hospital?

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. When I saw this, thought the exact same thing — a 20.4 percent increase while healthcare costs become more and more difficult for Americans to pay for. They obviously aren’t marketing to the growing number of Americans in poverty, another statistic that was released yesterday.