Business 101, Re: Adbusters Magazine imbroglio, National Post, November 3, 2010

Shoppers Drug Mart’s decision to remove Adbusters Magazine from all its stores in Canada has nothing to do with suppressing freedom of expression, regardless of anything publisher Kalle Lasn says. It is simply a sound business decision, which Shoppers Drug Mart is perfectly free to make. It is up to them after all to decide what or what not to sell in their stores and their decision not to sell Adbusters because selling it would reflect poorly on their corporate image and have a negative effect in the marketplace was entirely correct from a business point of view. They don’t want to be associated with such tripe, which is why they removed it. Rightly so too.

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No one is saying Lasn can’t express his views. He is free to do so as he sees fit, however poisonous and inaccurate they are. No one is required to disseminate them however, which is a point he seems to be missing. If Shoppers Drug Mart or anyone else chooses not to give him a platform that’s their perogative, just as its his perogative to express his views in the first place.

The National Post better be careful by the way. By Lasn’s tortured logic, it could be accused of violating his right to free speech and hauled before various commissions, or even sued for that matter, if it ever decided not to publish one of his diatribes.

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