So Kalle Lasn has managed to persuade Clayton Ruby to sue CBC, CTV, Canwest, CHUM, and the Canadian Government. Why? Because Adbusters magazine can’t persuade any of these media outlets to run their dorky “anti-advertisements.”
According to today’s Globe, Lasn is outraged by “the idea of a TV executive lording it over me and telling me what I can and cannot say. It violates my democratic principles.”
I agree! It reminds me of the time, back in 2001, I received a call from an Adbusters editor asking me if I would like to write a column for the magazine. They ran one, then promptly rejected three consecutive submissions from me. I couldn’t believe it — the idea of some magazine editor lording it over me and telling me what I can and cannot say. It was a clear violation of my democratic principles. I considered suing, but I can’t afford Clay Ruby. Hell, I can’t even afford a pair of sweet new blackspot sneakers, designed by my favourite shoe designer John Fluevog.
How Mr. Ruby got himself wrapped up in this I can’t figure out. My understanding of my democratic rights is that s.2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms forbids the government from infringing my right to freedom of expression. But it certainly doesn’t guarantee me a platform for my views. Or at least, it shouldn’t. This is one case I hope Mr. Ruby loses, badly.
That said, I happen to think that all of these media outlets should take Lasn’s money and run his ads. Then maybe he’d discover the big secret nobody in the industry wants to talk about: Advertising doesn’t really work.