The Canadian Labour Congress wants to know why CHUM-FM is refusing to play an ad to promote awareness about Canada's unacceptably high workplace death rate.
The ad, nicknamed "Its Not Funny" was produced to promote information about the fact that over 1,000 Canadians died because of unsafe working conditions last year. It features the voice of a man who is outraged at the situation, nothing obscene, nothing slanderous, nothing that comes remotely close to pushing any boundaries. However, CHUM-FM has refused to put it on the air.
You can check out the ad for yourself right here: MP3
The CLC was the only source I could find online for comment from the stations:
"The excuse we were given was that people will tune out because they don't want to hear outrage on the radio, which is beyond ridiculous because that's the bread and butter of many talk radio stations"
They have a point, there. When I think of radio today, in my head I hear the unwelcome outrage of shock jocks and shameless pundits. Having listened to the ad in question, I don't see what could possibly upset radio listeners who endure hours of early morning DJs.
But I may have found some clue as to the particular sensitivity of CHUM listeners to on-air negativity in this user comment:
larsh (Apr 30, 2009 @ 06:09PM)
I am personally tired of the Dr. Marla Swine Flu updates on the morning show. 4 days in a row is uncessary! I know you are trying to calm people, but I think you are creating fear instead. (Do you really need DAILY updates?). I personally like to hear discussions about "lighter" topics when i am driving in the morning. The traffic is stressful enough!
Yes, let's stop worrying about staying on top of a rapidly-growing global health crisis because traffic is already so difficult to deal with. Just like it's too upsetting to hear a guy get angry about the thousands of Canadians who die from unsafe workplaces when you could be laughing about Britney's stripper pole.
That's just sad. I think we need to get our priorities straight.