On Wednesday, the Sun Media Corporation ran a full page ad for it’s parent company Quebecor, who used the space to ask why Canadians pay so much for cellular phone services. What interest would a print media giant like Quebecor have in your cell phone bill? Plenty it seems. Not only does the company own newspaper and print outlets nationally and internationally, it also owns the largest cable provider in Quebec called Videotron which provides cable TV, internet and phone services to its customers.
Today, Sun Media ran an article by Steve Tilley. The article titled “Call of the Caveman” features an overview of the Canadian cellular phone industry which bemoans the state of our communications industry by relating great personal stories about an on-the-go OC businessman who enjoys great rates all over the United Sates and Tokyo teenager with terrific video-conferencing abilties. Tilley blames the Canadian government, and the “Big Three” service providers Telus, Bell, and Rogers for causing our chatty citizens such grief.
While this may be a fair assessment, it’s certainly not a fair story to write. Quebecor is on a mission to serve itself a slice of the cell phone provider pie and has been calling on the federal government over the last few weeks to make it easier for them to do just that. Admittedly, using your own writers to further your cause is nothing new but it’s not unbiased, objective journalism, it’s advertising. Bad advertising.