The Unfortunate Corporate Naming of your Literary Prize

November 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

[sent via email Nov 16th 2011]

Who exactly do I address this letter to?  The Giller Prize?  Scotiabank?
I was listening to CBC Radio last week and heard Jian Ghomeshi mention the Scotiabank Giller Prize.  I cringed and, as he mentioned Scotiabank several times in the blurb, quickly changed the station.  I only listen to non-commercial radio for a reason.  And you know what else should be non-commercial?  That’s right: your literary prize.
You tarnish the reputation and water down the importance of your prize by associating it with a major bank.  I don’t feel like this should be news to you.  In case you haven’t heard: banks create debt and inflation by creating money out of thin air.  They multiply your money by 100 and use it to “invest”, ie. exploiting people and resources around the world and fueling rampant consumerism.  I could go on about this but I wont, because I also have to mention how offensive affixing corporate sponsorship to a literary award is, and how awful corporate naming is period.
The arts are where society reflects upon itself.  The arts are where we become truly human.  When you affix the name of a corporation to your arts related award you diminish the importance of that award.  Artists around the world have been some of the first people to call for justice.  Artists frame injustice in their work and influence people towards change and justice.  You have affixed a label to your award that is synonymous with injustice.  Obviously any works being submitted to your prize that highlight the injustices created by the major banks and related corporations will go to the bottom of the stack when you’re coming up with your shortlist, or at least that’s what one assumes.  This is now the good corporate-approved book list.
Furthermore, corporate naming is the most insidious form of advertising because it colonizes your speech.  Even me, a person who loathes mobile phone companies for obvious reasons, even I can’t tell someone where the Canucks play without uttering the name of a mobile phone company.  It’s not okay.  These are not things that should be named after whichever monstrous international entity is willing to pay the most.
Please do let me know how it all works out,
Yours Truly,


Jian Ghomeshi’s Advertisement for a Major Bank

November 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

[written via web-form to CBC Radio on Nov 3 2011]

Hello. I was listening to your programming today while working as a delivery driver. It was between programs and a short preview for a coming program came on featuring the voice of Jian Ghomeshi. I don’t remember the exact time, but it was before Jian’s show. I don’t remember the exact content of the preview, except that Jian was plugging a show regarding a particular literary prize. This would all be fine except that he mentioned the name of the major bank Scotiabank in the preview because said major bank has purchased naming rights for that prize.
One of the primary reasons I listen to your programming is because I know there will be no advertising. Furthermore, I am bombarded by advertising, especially from major banks, every single day in this city. All the major banks, including Scotiabank, literally create debt and inflation by creating money out of thin air. It is needless to say that I was offended to hear an advertisement for this institution on air and I immediately changed the station.
Corporate naming is advertisement, no matter how you look at — it’s bought and paid for. In my opinion it is the most insidious of all forms of advertisement because it colonizes people’s speech without their consent and often their knowledge. I do not want to hear advertisement of this or any kind on our so-called non-commercial public radio. Please stop it, since I enjoy your programming and wish to continue listening.
I ask you this: would the literary prize be the same without the corporate naming? Has CBC received any payment to advertise for Scotiabank?
Please do answer my questions and let me know what is being done about this. Thank you for your time.

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