A decision by the British Columbia Court of Appeal gives Adbusters the right to sue broadcasters CBC and CanWest Global
for refusing to screen its anti-consumerist television ads. The
long-running and complicated case — with years expected to go —
has also involved CTV. It was sparked by the CBC pulling Adbuster‘s
anti-car television ad, Autosaurus, from the automotive show Driver’s Seat in 1993, after complaints from other sponsors – mostly car companies.
In my opinion, citizens should be able to rely on our information
media to report on news stories like this, and so I think it’s relevant
that only CTV-partner the Globe and Mail and the online alternative magazine The Tyee did so.
Reported the Globe and Mail, “Adbusters‘
legal counsel, Mark Underhill, said that the significance of the case
lies in whether private broadcasters given a license to operate by
Parliament have the right to determine who gets to speak on the public
airwaves.” Reported The Tyee, “Adbusters
claimed the television broadcasters were violating section 2 of the
Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees freedoms of expression
and the press.” In fairness to the CBC, a search of its website did turn up numerous hits for Adbusters, though no report of this court ruling. A search for “Adbusters” on CanWest Global’s site, Canada.com, turned up NO hits. Zip. Nada. Nothing.