Advertising Do’s and Don’ts

So what should an advertisement recruiting trial subjects say? W. Parker Nolen, MBA, IRB administrator for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta, recommends the following:

Do include:

• that the trial is research, not treatment;

• age restrictions or other qualifications for eligibility;

• some benefits (if any);

• compensation (but without overemphasizing compensation);

• the time commitment expected;

• the name of the center doing the research;

• the name of someone affiliated with the trial who can be contacted for more information. The FDA suggests this should be someone knowledgeable about the trial rather than a general telephone operator without clinical expertise.

Don’t include:

• claims, whether explicit or implied, that an investigational drug or device is safe or effective for the purposes being investigated.

• representations that the product under investigation is equivalent or better than any other drug or device.

• pejorative terms that could serve as inducements to the reader to participate (e.g., in a weight-loss trial, to use a term such as "fat" to describe potential participants).