European Integration - Realities and Perspectives. Proceedings 2020
Drug Advertisements across Cultures
Ana-Maria Mangher (Chitac)1
Abstract: The present paper intends to approach the pharmaceutical text as a genre of medical discourse,
focusing especially on the translation of Drug Advertisements (DA).The aim of this paper is to
investigate the translation issues raised by these texts and to offer some translation strategies in order to
facilitate their u nderstanding by the non – specialist readers. One of the novelty elements of this article
consists in an interdisciplinary approach of the pharmaceutical promotion texts and their analysis from
different perspectives: of translation and cultural studies, of linguistics, of pragmatics and of the
advertising discourse. The advertising language uses textual as well as cultural strategies in order to get
the reader’s attention. The understanding and the observance of the cultural values of the target audience
is essential for an efficient approach to translation. Consequently, the translator needs to focus not only
on the linguistic particularities of the te xt but also on respecting th e socio-cultural differences of the
target reader when interpreting the source-text. A difficult element in the translation of the
pharmaceutical promotion text represents the cultural appropriateness of the sent message. The publicity
of a product can be inefficient owing to the non -compliance with the socio-cultural differences in
interpretation that leads to an inadequate promotion. The attempt of finding the optimum translation
strategies in order to facilitate the understanding of these texts by the lay – receiver, preserving the
meaning as well as the cultural atmosphere in the target text, represents another new element of this
approach, given that, there are not many studies in the field literature that focus on this topic.
Keywords: Drug Advertisements; cultural appropriateness; translation problems; translation strategies;
Health is one of the most important issues in society and the pharmaceutical industry, one of the most
powerful economic sectors worldwide, makes money out of health- or the lack of it. After a new drug
has been developed in the laboratory, tested on animals and humans, and approved by the appropriate
authorities, pharmaceutical laboratories try to sell as much of it as they can. Marketing in its different
forms is the tool laboratories use to achieve their goals, and advertising in particular, is one of the most
important marketing strategies used by them to sell their products.
Drug Advertisements (DA) –Legal Background
Owing to possible drug-related health risks, the pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated, not only
as far as development and experimentation is concerned, but also in relation to the advertising and
promotion of its products. For instance, in the EU Member States, advertising of medicinal products is
regulated by law. (Title VIII of Directive 2001/83/EC on the advertising of medicines for human use).
Over-the-counter drugs, on the other hand, can be advertised in the mass media to the general public.
However, their potential target recipient includes not only the consumers themselves but also
physicians, pharmacists and other health professionals who may be in a position to recommend such
drugs to patients.
1 PhD in progress, Doctoral School of Philological Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania, Address: 11
Carol I Bvd., 700506 Iasi, Romania, Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org.