Research Outline

Media Audit of Repellents


Identify current themes in the media in the category of repellents (in terms of ingredients, safety, disease from mosquitoes, etc.) to help produce a media audit of the repellent category for a client.

Early Findings

Related Findings: Repellents in the Media

  • An article in the Guardian reports that the British government is investing in insect repellents containing citriodiol to help combat COVID-19 amongst its troops, even though there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted by mosquitoes. This article boosts public awareness of the ingredient citriodiol but also advises the public that repellents will not protect against the current pandemic.
  • Country Living's 2020 guide to the best mosquito repellents lists OFF! Deep Woods as the best choice for repellent due to its ability to repel insects. This is a deet-based product.
  • Country Living lists Natrapel, which contains picaridin, as its second choice.
  • Country Living's third choice is an all-natural, oil-based option from Repel. Based on the top three products in this list, deet continues to be a consumer-acceptable option based on its effectiveness, though it is clear that alternatives are being sought.
  • Women's Health ran an article that essentially declared deet as a safe option in regular quantities.
  • Consumer Reports provides a list of top recommendations and cites deet as being most effective. However, it states that of the six products added to its list of repellents this year, three were non-deet (to increase non-deet options).
  • Good Housekeeping put out a list recently of bug sprays for children and outlined the types of ingredients used (with recommendations based on the safety of the ingredients for different ages). It skews somewhat toward sprays with the recommendation that "lotions can take 20 minutes to start being effective while sprays work immediately."
  • Wirecutter has produced a list of repellent alternatives based on the implied justification that repellent is not a desirable product to have on the skin.

Summary of Early Findings in Relation to Goals

The first hour of research involved a high-level search to determine if the requested information is available.

There is ample information from the media regarding insect repellent, including many 2019 and 2020 lists of recommended products from high-profile publications. There are also recent mentions in the media in relation to current events.

Based on our early findings, we recommend the following next steps to help complete the request: