In 2020 Westat completed a RAAL study which was designed to evaluate how the amount of information provided in prescription drug advertisements relate to consumer’s reading behavior and perceptions of the drugs risks. Over 400 participants across six US cities were recruited to read drug ads of varying length while wearing eye-tracking glasses; after reading the ad, participants completed a survey about the ad to evaluate drug information retention and perceptions.
The study showed that, indeed, participants spend more time reading longer ads than shorter ads and that longer ad features were associated with better recall of drug risks. However the longest ads did not necessarily result in the most recall. The findings also showed that attention as measured by self-report and attention measured by eye-tracking were only weakly correlated. Information recall performance correlated more strongly with eye-tracking measured attention than self-reported attention but the difference was not substantial.