Rawlco Ad Low Quality

The latest Cowtown “car-bin tax” ad contains misleading comments about sending carbon tax money to Quebec, and promotes anti-Quebec sentiment.

I think the ad should be pulled, and the station air an apology if they are sorry for stirring national division, and spreading misinformation through their station.

If you hear it too, please file a complaint which will also get forwarded to the station.

A Rawlco VP responded to my complaint, claiming there was no misinformation broadcast.

On Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 12:13 PM Tom Newton wrote:

CBSC ref. 20.1819-0329.1
Filed by: John Klein
Regina, SK

Dear Mr. John Klein,

This is in regards to the complaint passed on to us by CBSC about the content you heard on CIZL on November 4, 2018 at 18:48CT. I have listened to that audio and reviewed the advertisement for Cowtown as you stated.

Your specific concern centered around the ad containing misleading comments about sending Carbon Tax money to Quebec, which would promote anti-Quebec sentiment.

The commercial is intended to poke fun at current politics. The ad was about a fictitious “cow” character wanting to move jeans from one location to another. The fictitious “cow” character even used the term “car-bin tax,” not “Carbon Tax” referring to a way to move the jeans.

At the end of the spot, the comment of “sending money to Quebec…” does not promote anti-Quebec sentiment. In fact, a recent Globe and Mail article from June 21, 2018 states, “This year Quebec will receive the lion’s share of equalization payments at $11.7 billion. The provinces that receive no equalization payments are British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador.” So the comment about the province of Quebec receiving a sizable equalization payment is in fact a true comment.

We appreciate your concern about comments made in this commercial. Rawlco certainly works on making sure comments made in ads are done in the right spirit and are factual. Your comments have been passed on to the client for consideration as well. The client has decided not to run that ad in Regina anymore and appreciates your response.

Rawlco really works hard to be a responsible and respectful broadcaster and we appreciate your feedback.

If you would like to continue this discussion or have any other concerns, I would love to speak with you.

Tom Newton
VP GM Rawlco Radio Regina
[]

CC: Kristen Smeltzer
Manager, Operations & Administration CBSC

I responded:

Dear Mr. Newton:

Thank-you for your thoughtful and research-laden response to my complaint, as it demonstrated why your station needs to issue a correction and apology on air for broadcasting the Cowtown ad in the first place. A thoughtful and intelligent person such as yourself was sufficiently misled by the ad as to confuse equalization payments with the car-bin tax, err, carbon tax. They’ve absolutely nothing to do with each other.

That you’ve mistaken them as the same subject, perhaps due to the misleading comments by the “straight guy” to the cow’s ridiculous joke, would seem to suggest listeners unable or unwilling to even attempt research into the subject of the carbon tax could be similarly confused, and think that it is sending Saskatchewan carbon tax dollars to Quebec.

I absolutely support the poking of fun at current politics on the radio, having long been a fan of satire and previous Cowtown ads. However, the straight guy in the ad is supposed to correct the cow’s ridiculous claims, not pile on more cow manure.

If you’d like to know how the carbon tax actually works, here’s an excellent resource.

And here are earlier explanations of how the money stays in the province it is collected in:
“All revenues from it are to be returned to people of the province where the money is collected but the details about how that rebate system will work have yet to be announced.” They’ve since been announced.
Here are some mundane details.

With this information, and since your station works to make sure ads are in the right spirit, and are factual, I expect you to air corrections during the times of day the ad was run. It’s very important for the health and safety of our society that people not be misinformed about how to reduce damage to our environment. And harming national unity by suggesting Quebec gets either too much from our province through equalization (that has benefited Saskatchewan over the decades), or through the upcoming carbon tax, is not the spirit Cowtown sought to capture with its ad surely? Perhaps Cowtown would wish to incorporate a correction into their next advertisement?

Thanks again for your response, and working to correct this problem.

Sincerely,
John Klein

ADDED Nov 30:

On Thu, Nov 29, 2018 at 8:34 AM Tom Newton wrote:

CBSC ref. 20.1819-0329.1

Filed by: John Klein

Dear Mr. John Klein,

Thank you so much for sending me your latest comments on the concern you have about a Cowtown ad that was aired on November 4, 2018 at 18:48 CT on CIZL.

I’m glad you support the poking of fun and appreciate the type of satire that this ad suggests. The commercial in question was attended to poke fun at current politics and was presented by a fictitious “cow” character that usually takes the starring role in these types of ads.

I have passed along your concerns to the ownership group at Cowtown and they are sorry if their attempt at humour was not appreciated or received in the correct light by yourself.

In my last correspondence with you on November 15, 2018, I did confirm that this ad had stopped running on that day.

Thank you again for your comments on this matter and as a respectful broadcaster, we always appreciate your feedback.

Tom Newton
VP GM Rawlco Radio Regina

CC: Kristen Smeltzer
Manager, Operations & Administration CBSC

Good afternoon Tom Newton:

Will you be airing a correction?

The Cowtown “cow” wasn’t the bearer of misinformation, it was the “straight guy” with the incorrect jab at Quebec. And it wasn’t the attempt to poke fun at politics that’s the problem, it’s the presentation of misleading comments by a character in an ad who is supposed to be honest (while talking to a fictitious cow counterpart). It’s a relief that the ad is no longer airing, but what about all of the people who heard it, and who now have the wrong impression that a carbon tax is a negative thing and is the same as an equalization payment, like you indicated you mistakenly thought in reference to your ad?

What is your usual procedure for making corrections to mistakes broadcasted repeatedly? Without you offering to make a correction on air, leaves me with the impression that you have an aversion to setting the record straight on your station. I hope that impression is as real as the cow.

Your many radio personalities during their time talking about a variety of topics, would surely be able to briefly mention the correction. Have them explain that your recent Cowtown ad had misleading information about the carbon tax, and you’re sorry since you’re a respectful broadcaster and it wasn’t your intention to mislead people. The suggestion in the ad that a carbon tax is the same as equalization payments, and is sending carbon tax money to Quebec, was a mistake because the money stays in Saskatchewan. This wouldn’t cost your station anything, except it would set the record straight.

Sincerely,
John Klein

Advertisements

Just Transition – last of the raw videos

Here’s the last bit of raw video (I think) from last weekend’s Just Transition summit in Regina, SK. Activists and scientists gathered to share and learn about ways of fairly transitioning our province away from fossil fuels that are causing inter-generational harm.

Just Transitions – Laura Stewart — Carbon Tax Song

At lunch, to entertain the crowd at the Just Transitions summit in Regina, musician and song writer Laura Stewart played her carbon tax song. It’s pretty catchy, and I hope the PM listens to it.

Just Transitions – More

Here are some useful tweets about Just Transition away from fossil fuels, and the Regina summit on the subject. I have videos and photos on an earlier blog post too.

 

Greed and Envy

I don’t normally blog about work, because people can be pretty sensitive to coworkers talking about things to do with work, online. Salaries and earnings are especially sensitive, as many people stake personal worth, and social standing on the figures.

It’s worth pointing out though that the University of Regina has made an effort to be more transparent about how much it is paying its top-earning staff and faculty. The figures had been public before, but now they are online for more immediate perusal.

http://www.uregina. ca/orp/statistics/faculty-staff.html

The list shows almost everyone at the University making $100,000/year or more, each July.

I expect highly educated people in a specialized field to be making a lot of money, but frankly some of the salaries shocked me. Considering most of my coworkers took a pay cut last contract negotiation this year, it would have been possible to get significant pay raises with a small <0.5% cut to the top-earning staff and faculty instead. Cost of living isn’t being kept up with, by many staff in the CUPE 5791 union. While students suffer from increasing tuition as the province fails to fund the university enough, it’s not fair to be asking front-line staff to take pay cuts while more than 400 other people make 3 to 10 times more than a typical student wage. It is income inequality beyond the pale.