CanWest CEO urges Ottawa to end ban on prescription-drug TV advertising

CanWest CEO urges Ottawa to end ban on prescription-drug TV advertising: “Speaking Wednesday at an industry conference, Asper said Canadians can see such advertising through U.S. cable channels like CNN and A&E and in U.S. magazines. ‘But the (Canadian) broadcasters can’t advertise prescription drugs,’ Asper said Wednesday at a conference on broadcasting and publishing.”

I suppose CanWest President and CEO Leonard Asper wants us, as Canadian citizens and landed immigrants, to feel sorry for Canada’s monopoly media company that owns our biggest cities’ most popular newspapers, the National Post, the Global TV network, Prime TV, and numerous digital cable channels because they are prohibited from airing advertisements for prescription-drugs. I’m sorry, but I have absolutely no sympathy whatsoever and would strongly urge both the federal government and the Canada’s broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio-telecommunications Commission (CRTC), to maintain that ban.

To support my position on this issue, I would cite Asper’s own reasoning for removing the ban. Because many U.S. cable channels and broadcast networks air on Canadian cable line-ups, we are already inundated with ads for prescription-drugs that originate in the U.S. The market for this type of ad has already reached the point of over-saturation. And, if this ban were removed, Canadian media conglomerates, like CanWest and Bell Globemedia, as well as the government-run Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, could bombard us with even more ads. In turn, removing this ban has the potential to alienate Canadian citizens from Canadian content (and perhaps television itself). The domino effect would have begun and Canadian content producers, and ultimately Canadian content distribution companies such as Bell, Rogers, and Shaw, would be deprived of substantial revenue and profits.

It would seem to me that Mr. Asper is suffering from a terrible sickness (and clouded mind) often associated with eating sour grapes. I wish he and his family the best in his recovery from this mental glut in which he has found himself.


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