By (TK) Published on .

April was hardly the cruelest month for the Vancouver-based Media Foundation, publisher of Adbusters, the anti-advertising magazine. The Foundation had announced one of their occasional TV Turn-off Weeks and, with a 30-second commercial to herald the event ready to go, bought a pair of prime time airings on CNN's Headline News -- the only channel, so far, that will accept any of the MF's half-dozen self-styled "culture jammer" commercials. But according to the MF, a CNN screwup resulted in the airing of another MF spot, one promoting the group's Buy Nothing Day -- which was broadcast not once but twice.

So the TV Turn-off spot aired twice the following night, and Kalle Lasn, the 57-year-old editor of Adbusters, was triumphant -- though his assault on capitalist consumer consciousness remains tinged with bitterness. "This is the first time that any of the major networks agreed to run that particular campaign," he says of the TV Turn-off spot. As for the Big Three, "they have systematically refused to run any of our campaigns over the last eight or nine years. They have said no to everything." (Lasn has yet to try Fox.)

As for the TV Turn-off spot itself, it's an ultra-low-budget affair, featuring a little girl sitting dim-wittedly in front of a TV, while a VO wonders, "Whose child is she? Yours, or the Networks'?" Did it get any feedback? "We always get hundreds of phone calls on our toll free number," says the Estonian-born Lasn with glee. "Half the people are outraged and tell us to go back to China or wherever we came from. The other half say they've never seen such a wonderful message on commercial television."

Lasn says he is trying to create "cognitive dissonance" on the airwaves, and "to show informed people that there are dissenting, opposing voices to consumerism and media monopolies. We want CEOs and others who take the status quo for granted to know that we're coming after them."

At press time, Lasn was negotiating with Headline News to get his "G-8 Ecocide"

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