There is an increasing tendency for administrators and government to expect both the health services and the education service to 'show results' for the investment of public money in them. One response to this has been the growing commitment to 'health promotion', where measurable objectives may be set in terms of desired behaviour (stopping smoking, breast self-examination, child immunisation etc) and where evaluation can be made on the evidence of statistical improvement. Health workers use the term 'promotion' in a variety of ways which seem to be as confusing to them as they are to their clients --the general public. Since successful promotion is likely to depend on the 'hard sell' (and since the methodology and aims of this may be incompatible with those of health education) this paper looks at some of the questions which the customer might wish to ask the salesman before deciding whether or not to buy.
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