As an MA student in bioethics, I am very interested in the advertisements on the Métro for participation in phase I drug studies.
And that’s not just because they were very tempting back when I had no job and no prospects at the end of the school year in April.
I have found the evolution of this particular advertisement to be very notable indeed. A few months ago, when I first noticed it, it went something like this:
“Up to $4000 for healthy men, 18–45 / A clinical trial? Why not!”
It would run in English first, then in French, and in the version that they were running a few months ago, there was no translation problem.
Now, it is the same message, except instead of “A clinical trial? Why not!” it says, “Why not volunteers [sic]?”
English mistranslation aside, the emphasis of the message has changed. At first, the tone was more on the “Why not?”—it was more like the advertisers were saying, “Yeah, we know it’s a clinical trial, but let’s throw caution to the wind! What could go wrong?”
Now, the emphasis has changed. It’s like the advertisers are now trying to go for more of the “It’s for a good cause” feel. “Volunteer. Why wouldn’t you? It’s so that these kind people can develop drugs that will help all of us.”
“Why not volunteers?”