Adbusters Media Foundation

Adbusters Media Foundation

September 21, 2009 09:00 ET

Adbusters Media Foundation Wins Another Legal Victory Against CanWest Global; Plans to Sue in the US

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 21, 2009) - For the second time in six months, Adbusters Media Foundation has scored a major legal victory against media conglomerate CanWest Global.

The foundation, best known for publishing Adbusters magazine and organizing Buy Nothing Day, took legal action against Global Television (and the CBC and the CRTC) for refusing to sell it airtime to run citizen-produced ads in 2004. One of Adbusters' many controversial "uncommercials" warns of the dangers of overconsumption by featuring a burping pig superimposed on a map of North America.

Adbusters won a crucial ruling last April when the British Columbia Court of Appeal decided that television airtime may indeed constitute "a public space," which citizens should be able to access. CanWest Global immediately appealed the decision, arguing that the case had no legal merit. The Supreme Court dismissed that challenge on Thursday and cleared the way for Adbusters to sue in the lower courts.

"This is one small step toward media democracy in Canada," says Adbusters co-founder Kalle Lasn. "Now we have the green light to take CanWest, the CBC and the CRTC to court and make them answer for the fact that for over 30 years, Canadian citizens have not had access to the public airwaves under the same rules and conditions as corporations and advertising agencies."

Adbusters Media Foundation plans a similar legal challenge in the US next year against NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MTV and the Food Network for repeatedly refusing to sell it airtime for social messages about overconsumption, environmental degradation, obesity, anorexia and the perils of neoclassical economics. Broadcasters in Australia, the UK and Europe have also rejected the foundation's "uncommercials."

EDITOR'S NOTES

For more information about Adbusters and the global media democracy movement visit www.mediacarta.org and www.adbusters.org.

(1) Canadian media facts:

- Four corporations (CanWest, Quebecor, Torstar and Gesca) control 72 percent of the country's daily newspaper circulation: (www.parl.gc.ca/37/3/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/tran-e/rep-e/rep04apr04-e.htm).

- Five major media acquisitions in Canada have occurred or are currently in the making: CHUM was purchased by CTV Globemedia for $1.4 billion, which then sold five City TV stations to Rogers for $375 million; CanWest purchased Alliance Atlantis for $2.3 billion; Astral Media bought Standard Broadcasting for $1.2 billion; and Black Press and Quebecor are vying for the Osprey Media newspaper chain in a deal that will be worth more than $400 million.

(2) Facts about media democracy:

- More than 30,000 people have signed the Media Carta (www.mediacarta.org) to voice their concerns about the way information flows and meaning is produced in our societies.

- In the past year a growing number of grassroots media activist groups have formed in Canada and worldwide to express their dissatisfaction with the continued consolidation of the media: www.democraticmedia.ca, www.mediareform.ca.

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