Adherence To Ethical Advertising By Trado-Medicine Companies In Ebonyi State

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Adherence To Ethical Advertising By Trado-Medicine Companies In Ebonyi State


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine adherence to ethical advertising by trado-medicine companies in Ebonyi State. Specifically, the study aims to find out whether trado- medical companies make use of advertisement, examine whether trado- medicine companies adhere to the ethics of advertisement and investigate whether customers believe in the use of traditional medicines. The study employed the survey descriptive research design. A total of 141 responses were validated from the survey. From the responses obtained and analyzed, the findings revealed that Trado- medicine companies do adhere to the ethics of advertisement. The study thereby recommends that there should be re-awakening on the benefits of herbal drugs as alternative medicine to orthodox medicine. However, there should be proper quality control measures that are scientific and empirical-oriented. There should be a convergence of orthodox and traditional medicine so that each complements the other. Providers of medicines should be trained in the understanding of how herbal drugs could be integrated in modern medicine and its effects on the health of their patients.


Table of Content


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organization of the Studies

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Sub-Saharan Africa has a long tradition of traditional medicine advertising. In the past, advertising was normally done orally, that is, by word of mouth. This was done by the practitioners themselves and or by clients and neighbors. As such, advertising of traditional medicine though now more common than ever is not a new and unique phenomenon to southern Africa, but is resonant as in other countries in the region and beyond. While the subject of traditional medicine has been heavily contested in medical studies in the last few decades in sub-Saharan countries like abovementioned, the monumental studies on these subjects [Geest, 2017] have emphasized the place of traditional medicine in basic health service. Adegoju [2016] though have criticized the abovementioned scholars has fallen in the same trap as he takes a linguistic stance and focuses solely on the rhetorical style used by herbal medical practitioners in Southwestern Nigeria in launching their products. As such, all the aforementioned scholars, among others, have devoted insignificant or no attention to examining the moral worthiness of some advertising strategies used by practitioners in traditional medicine when launching their products and services on market. Yet, though advertising is key to helping practitioners’ products and services known by prospective customers, this research establishes a number of morally negative effects that seem to outweigh the merits that the activity brings to society. In urban societies of Nigeria, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, the linguistic advertising strategies employed by traditional medicine practitioners/traditional healers have mired the advertising of herbal and spiritual healing services with a plethora of controversies. The controversies are further compounded by the nature of advertising discourse itself which many business ethicists [DeGeorge, 2020] believe is psychologically coercing, misinforming, cunning and void of ethical principles. In addition, though Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe are some of the countries with a very long history of the development and use of herbal medicine and spiritual healing techniques, the national governments of these countries have always suppressed traditional medicine’s advertising and use in favor of conventional/scientific medicine. This is because traditional medicine has always been associated with witchcraft. It should be noted that in these countries colonial systems’ health care legacy remains a problem with their bias towards allopathic health care. In fact the debate on the legitimacy of traditional healers has been highly contentious because of the complex political, legal, cultural and social ramifications of the practice. From a politico-historical perspective, the colonial government regimes perplexed by failure to establish and provideproof and distinction between traditional healing and witchcraft in legal battles outlawed both (traditional healing and witchcraft) for legal and administrative convenience. Unsurprisingly, the post southern African governments haunted by the same dilemma retained the colonial legislations like the Witchcraft Suppression Act where formal courts of law were under obligation not to recognize both traditional healing practices and witchcraft unless the plaintiff provided substantial evidence linking the defendant to the practice. In Zimbabwe, for example, this saw the enactment of the Zimbabwe’s Witchcraft Suppression Act (ZWSA) which considers as illegal an activity that has to do with supernatural forces or charm meant to inflict injury, misfortunes, illness or death. Likewise, South Africa saw the enactment of restrictive legislations such as the Witchcraft Suppression Act in 1957 and the Witchcraft Suppression Amendment Act of 1970. In Mozambique, though no known laws were enacted against witchcraft or activities related to it, traditional healing until recently was equated to witchcraft. Worse still and in line with the misplaced thinking against traditional medicine practitioners (as elsewhere in the region), there have been numerous media reports about people who have been killed for muti (charm used in witchcraft) purposes under the instruction of traditional practitioners. As Mutungi [2017] puts it: “Witchcraft beliefs embrace a wide range of ideas, practices, and motivations, but in their various forms they usually share the idea that the power to inflict injury and benefit could be exercised through un-observable, supernatural means.” In southern Africa, the word witchcraft as the concept of traditional medicine has therefore earned negative and pejorative labels. This has been chiefly because of Eurocentric paradigms of Africa where the perjured interpretations of Africa have remained grafted on the mental processes and human aspirations of modern Africans thereby robbing them of their intellectual confidence and mental identities with regard to posterity. Unfortunately, many traditional medicine practitioners, especially those in contemporary urban societies have stretched further and authenticated this misplaced thinking through their immoral advertising strategies. In the aforementioned countries, and sub-Sahara in general, the massive socio-cultural, economic and political changes since the attainment of political independence and a general renewed challenge to the post colonial state to provide primary health care for all brought cultural crunches and challenges in the region. They (southern African states) had to resort to herbal medicine and spiritual healing, hence making “the role and efficacy of traditional medicine services once again moved to the spotlight” [Pretorius, 2019]. These courses of events explain the reason why a new crop of traditional medicine practitioners from different countries in the region has emerged claiming, through advertising, to be well-researched, gifted and educated. It has been estimated that between 60% and 80% of South Africans currently rely on the traditional medical sector as their first contact for advice and treatment of health concerns [Ritchter, 2018]. Due to socio-economic and political pressures in the southern African region, there has been increased demand in traditional medicine services luring not only practitioners from within the region, but from as far as India and China. As a matter of consequence, there has been increased competition among traditional medicine practitioners, leading them to employ all tactics and strategies at their disposal. These include immoral advertising strategies such as false testimonials and misinformation in order to lure customers and withstand the fierce competition from other service providers. As previously highlighted, most if not all of these practitioners have therefore tended to shun “clean advertising” in favor of “dirty advertising” in order to withstand competition from their counterparts. As never been before (in the past) profit making has emerged to challenge and override many traditional healers’ ought to be morally upright. Thus, the upsurge of immoral business practices, through immoral advertising strategies, in contemporary southern African urban societies has reached an alarming level. So is the prevalence of the so-called myth of amoral business that has invaded the traditional medicine arena. Most traditional healers, for example, have generally accepted the myth of amoral business- “a belief that business and ethics do not mix” [Mawere, 2020] -they are mortal enemies. They have done so by employing unscrupulous advertising tactics/strategies. Some of the unethical advertising practices that have unapologetic-ally infiltrated the southern African herbal medicine and spiritual healing arenas are misinforming, coercing, cunning, deception and other such problems associated with advertising. These practices have manifested at an increasingly alarming rate invoking the anti- advertising partisans and the consumers in general arguing for the banning of advertising of traditional medicine by traditional healers.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

It is an established fact that advertising plays a very significant role in creating product or service awareness in the market place. David and James (2002) argued that advertising is one easy way to educate existing and prospective consumers about a product or service. Although it is common for people to relate the performance of a company with the priority it gives to advertising, people tend to forget that advertising budgets are a huge source of costs for the organization. In fact, the amount of resources committed by firms to advertising has steadily grown over the years because of the increased awareness and sophistication of consumers (Church, 2021).Herbal medicine use raises particular concerns about its safety. Exposure to chemicals such supplements could affect lives (Bercaw, and Cave, 2020) and this could contribute to maternal morbidity and mortality. Despite these known concerns by health professionals, many people using herbal medicine in treating tuberculosis do not disclose use of herbal medicines to their health care providers, although some herbal medicine used have been reported to have been recommended by health care providers (Duru &Sacks, 2016). Therefore, this study examines adherence to ethical advertising by trado- medicine companies in Ebonyi state


1.3 Objective of the Study

The general objective of the study is to examine the adherence to ethical advertising by trado- medicine companies in Ebonyi State.

The specific objective is as follows:

  1. To find out whether trado- medical companies make use of advertisement.
  2. To examine whether trado- medicine companies adhere to the ethics of advertisement.
  3. To investigate whether customers believe in the use of traditional medicines.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study

  1. Do trado- medical companies make use of advertisement?
  2. Do trado- medicine companies adhere to the ethics of advertisement?
  3. Do customers believe in the use of traditional medicines?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

The following hypothesis have been formulated for the study

H0: Trado- medicine companies do not adhere to the ethics of advertisement

HA: Trado- medicine companies do not adhere to the ethics of advertisement


1.6 Significance of the Study

The study will be significant to companies who deal in traditional medicines and customers as it will expose how they use advertisement to draw customers to their products

The study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature


1.7 Scope of the Study

The study will find out whether trado- medical companies make use of advertisement. The study will also examine whether trado- medicine companies adhere to the ethics of advertisement. Lastly, the study will investigate whether customers believe in the use of traditional medicines. Hence Kolaq Alagbo will be used as a case study.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

Just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data

Financial constraint , was faced by the researcher ,in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires

Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher


1.9 Definition of Terms

Trado- Medicine:

Health practices, approaches, knowledge and beliefs incorporating plant, animal and mineral based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises, applied singularly or in combination to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses or maintain well-being.

Advertisement:

A notice or announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event or publicizing a job vacancy.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was to examine adherence to ethical advertising by trado-medicine companies in Ebonyi State as a case study. The study specifically was aimed to find out whether trado- medical companies make use of advertisement, examine whether trado- medicine companies adhere to the ethics of advertisement and investigate whether customers believe in the use of traditional medicines.A total of 141 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are drawn from Staff of Kolaq Alagbo and advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria.


5.2 Conclusion

Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:

  1. Trado- medical companies make use of advertisement
  2. Trado- medicine companies adhere to the ethics of advertisement
  3. Customers believe in the use of traditional medicines

5.3 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

There should be re-awakening on the benefits of herbal drugs as alternative medicine to orthodox medicine. However, there should be proper quality control measures that are scientific and empirical-oriented. There should be a convergence of orthodox and traditional medicine so that each complements the other. Providers of medicines should be trained in the understanding of how herbal drugs could be integrated in modern medicine and its effects on the health of their patients.


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