“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one”
New Yorker writer A.J Liebling
It turns out that in Canada, the same thing applies to billboards.
It is a fairly gentle message, but for some reason it was rejected by Pattison Outdoor Advertising.
Jim Pattison started his career selling cars and is now the largest car retailer in British Columbia. (He is also the third richest man in Canada and owns the Guinness Book of Records.). It’s no surprise that a car dealer might be a fan of the tar sands.
Adam Finn, a marketing professor at the University of Alberta, believes Pattison may have decided the Greenpeace ad would have offended some of their existing big clients, and it wasn’t worth losing that revenue.
“The small risk that some of their important clients will be annoyed is way more important than the money they can get from this type of advertising,” he said.
Instead, he says Greenpeace is running a successful public relations campaign when the media picks up the story