Modesty, motherhood and modernity: a cultural conundrum in need of a magic wand? Advertising the HPV vaccine to the modern Filipina

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This paper contributes to the call for more socio-cultural research in health advertising. Advertising is a cultural artifact, reflecting, behaviours, values and reinforces lifestyle. Balancing the Filipino cultural expectations of modesty and motherhood with modernity produces a cultural conundrum to challenge the advertisement creative, but is there a magic wand? Although the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) is an advancement in women’s health, it is associated with behaviour, juxtaposed to Filipino moral and religious values. This paper addresses the call for exploration of inter relationships between health messages, culture and religion. Using an a priori coding scheme a content analysis explores ,fright factors to communicate risk, the inter- connection of culture and religion, and the under researched issue of HPV risk management in a collectivist society. Findings show a mother’s moral imprint lasts a lifetime highlighting the Filipina’s struggle to conform to the demands of religion in today’s risk taking society. Furthermore, the risk of HPV is seen as inequitably distributed amongst lower socio economic groups. Finally, Philippine health policy dictates HPV risk is borne solely by women. Findings impact on the management of HPV advertising with a religious and cultural perspective and public policy.

Key words
Advertising, Religion, Content Analysis, Fright Factors, HPV Vaccine, Philippines, Public Policy

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 Academy of Marketing Conference - the magic in marketing
EditorsLisa O'Malley
PublisherAcademy of Marketing
ISBN (Print)9781905952649
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2015
EventAcademy of Marketing Conference 2015: The magic of Marketing - University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 7 Jul 20159 Jul 2015


ConferenceAcademy of Marketing Conference 2015
Abbreviated titleAM2015
Internet address


  • Advertising
  • Public Policy
  • Philippines
  • HPV Vaccine
  • Fright Factors
  • Content Analysis
  • Religion


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