Electronics manufacturing giant Toshiba has angered the medical community by producing an advertisement poking fun at human research subjects.
The commercial shows a "professional medical test subject" undergoing a of series of clinical trials that lead to exaggerated and bizarre side effects. The subject states, "I'm fine with being a guinea pig -- except when it comes to my laptop. I'm sick of tech companies treating paying customers like test monkeys."
Though the ad was supposed to promote Toshiba's Satellite Ultrabook, it has instead repulsed many in medical research community.
“It’s dangerous,” says John J. Lewis, VP of public affairs at ACRO, per PR Daily. “We don’t need any more reasons to discourage people from research. We need to encourage people and not portray them as some kind of freak.”
Comments about the YouTube video highlight both sides of the argument. User Danny Roth stated, "It's obviously an exaggeration, as nothing like this actually happens in clinical research testing. It won't scare people away." But others lashed out against Toshiba, calling the ad "absolutely horrible," and "gross."
ACRO reached out to Toshiba for a comment on the video. PR Daily reports the tech company's response, seen below:
Thank you so much for raising your concerns over one of Toshiba’s new television commercials showing people in medical testing situations.
Our intent was not to minimize the value of clinical research or insult people participating in clinical trials.
We will absolutely take your objections into consideration as we develop future advertising.
Adweek speculates that "given the relatively small audience of medical testing volunteers, it's unlikely Toshiba will give in to demands to pull the ad or issue an apology."
Toshiba recently took heat for another ad featuring a yoga instructor in a revealing top posing suggestively with Toshiba products. WebProNews described the spots "as more of an advertisement for the attractive woman doing yoga (and her boobs)" than for the devices.
Do you think people are overreacting to these commercials, or do you agree with the critics? Sound off in the comments section or tweet us your responses at @HuffPostTech!
[Hat Tip: Business Insider]