Restaurant menus, as we know them today, are a relatively new phenomenon.
The following is the text of a radio announcement aired in a major metropolitan area: She is opening her practice in Centerville at the Glenwood Mall, with ample free parking and convenient evening office hours. If you are having marital problems, she may be able to help.
Call for an appointment. Assuming that the facts are accurate and truthful, and that Mr.
Okay are indeed qualified to perform the services they list, there is nothing wrong with these notices. Any information that might be of interest to a consumer, including facility in speaking a foreign language, application of special techniques e.
One must be careful not to mix facts that may be misleading, however. Some psychological services e. Childs were to note that his practice involves only child custody work, he should not simultaneously mention that he accepts health insurance without caveats about coverage.
To do so might mislead readers into thinking that his services will be covered by insurance. Childs has no more room for low-fee clients in his practice, then he should drop the reference to a sliding fee scale.
It is true that such matters can be dealt with in a first session or telephone consultation, but to leave a false impression in the advertisement is inappropriate, even if the situation is later remedied with no harm to the client.
If a psychotherapist does intend to advertise in any way, we recommend several precautionary steps: Consult with colleagues regarding the plan to obtain informal opinions about the nature and content of your advertisement, as well as for a sense of community standards.
Do not delegate the details of the advertising to others, especially those with aggressive marketing strategies and little understanding of professional ethics. Proofread or carefully monitor the final product before distribution or broadcast.
Retain a copy of the advertisement, whether in print, film, magnetic, or optical media. In that way, you will have documentation of exactly what was communicated, should questions come up later. This can be especially important if broadcast media are used. We know of instances in which clinicians, anxious to take advantage of liberalized advertising policies, hired public relations firms.
All were unhappy with the flashy packages created for them, but had to pay the high fees anyway.
From Yellow Pages to the Web A decade or more ago, listing oneself in the classified yellow pages of the telephone directory seemed an essential way to attract clients.
Some problems emanated from the fact that the directory publishers have an interest in selling space and remain relatively unconcerned about the ethics of professions.
Little is known by way of scientific data about whether telephone directory advertising generates client referrals. After all, if one were searching for a skilled surgeon or trial lawyer, and relied solely on a colorful, cutely illustrated box ad in the telephone directory, the consequences could be unfortunate.
Still, telephone directories were highly visible and attracted the attention--and occasionally the ire--of colleagues, if not clients. Part of the ad read: With the era of the Internet and the ubiquity of the web-enabled cell phones, paper directories have become less valuable resources.
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