The campaign is a follow-up to a similarly unsuccessful project to get merchants to post signs in their stores, which told customers that the premises served customers in French. The $400,000 campaign was a bust because there weren't many business' willing to offend Anglo and minority clients for the sake of the l'Office Québécois de la Langue Française.
As the old saying goes, "Blood is Thicker than Water, but Money is Thicker than Language" (I made up the last part.)
At any rate the new multi-level campaign is much, much larger, costing several million dollars, although I couldn't run down the exact cost because nobody would reply to my request for information.
The details of the campaign are described in a press release, but the cost is conveniently left out.
This campaign uses radio, billboards, mobile billboards and a give-away promotion of hundreds of thousands of shopping bags anointed with the slogan - "MERCI DE ME SERVIR EN FRANCAIS"(Thank-you for serving me in French). The opposite side of the bag was enshrined with more inspiring bon mots, "Un détaillant qui commerce en français, j'aime ça!" ("I like a retailer that does business in French")
Now I may be missing the point, but if the campaign is to get stores to use more French, shouldn't it target Anglos and Ethnics?
Don't you think that Francophones already offer service in French and don't need to be reminded?
At any rate, I'm glad the government hasn't lost perspective as to what is important in Quebec. It's obvious that the finance minister has his priorities in order and kept alive this vital and strategic campaign to promote the French language.
I guess militants in favour of the campaign might argue the whole thing costs less than one new MRI diagnostic machine and anyway, purchasing another machine wouldn't put much of a dent in the four-month waiting period that Quebeckers are now subjected to.