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Fear Sells. But What Happens When It Becomes Weaponized?

How a marketing strategy known as "Fear Appeal" is being used against an unknowing public.

Fear appeal has been a marketing strategy used for generations to influence people to feel that they are assuming a risk if they do not purchase a particular product or abide by specific instructions (or mandates) and may otherwise experience undesirable consequences.

Scaring people into stopping unhealthy habits or reducing risks to themselves is not necessarily a bad thing. It has worked successfully for decades, but what happens when scaring people into doing something causes harm and/or death? What happens when the intent behind fear appeal no longer benefits man?

Covid has forced the discussion; have our public health departments, government, medical systems, and the media taken fear appeal too far?

In the public health sector, fear appeal changes behavior by creating anxiety in those receiving a fearful message (such as Covid or Monkeypox). It is regularly used in public health initiatives such as anti-drunk driving, anti-smoking, or preventing the spread of AIDS or the use of meth. All of which are noble campaigns.

But what happens when fear appeal is not utilized judiciously or is used to coerce the public into untested treatments for which little to no supporting evidence exists?

In the past, fear appeal campaigns were backed by substantive evidence and science…. but today, in the Covid era? It seems fear appeal has gone off the rails and is doing more harm than good…..

Just follow the trail of fear appeal, and see where it has led us in the past and has the possibility of leading us very shortly.


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Reinette Senum's Foghorn Express
Reinette Senum's Foghorn Express
Reinette Senum