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Veterinary practice, competition and advertising: 1985-1994

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In 1985, members of the veterinary profession and four other professional groups in New Zealand were surveyed to establish their attitudes towards the developing commercialisation of their professions, and particularly towards advertising. This survey was repeated in 1988, and again in 1994. The results of the three surveys are presented in this paper. There was a sharp movement towards acceptance of advertising, and toward a competitive orientation in general, between 1985 and 1988, with a consolidation of these changes during the following 6 years. The acceptance of the idea of an openly competitive profession now has widespread support among veterinarians. Similarly, there is general support for the use of most kinds of “informative” advertising, with many practitioners viewing advertising as a business building tool, but with the advertising of fees remaining an area over which there is still considerable caution. Although clients are seen as more demanding than in the past, the client-practitioner relationship is still expected to be an enduring one. We suggest that, in view of the relaxed attitudes towards advertising that now exists among members of the veterinary profession, control of advertising should cease to be a concern to the profession.

Keywords: General; Practice management; Veterinary profession

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1997

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