Monday, 11 February 2008

I am not a billboard

Yesterday evening Gord and I were talking about whether or not we might attend the local hockey team's skills competition. We weren't sure where is was being held, at which point I said it would be good if it were held at the ________ Centre. I then stopped myself and said out loud, "I'm not using that term anymore, I'm going to call it what it used to be called, before that arena was corporatized: the Coliseum."

In fact, I'm not calling any building by its corporatized name anymore - I'm going to make a point of calling public spaces by their public names, even if it is more cumbersome to do so. Those companies can pay someone to do their advertising for them, I'm not doing it for free.

This also goes for the clothes I buy from now on. I'm not going to buy anymore sweatshirts or T-shirts or anything with an obvious logo or corporate name emblazoned on it anywhere. I have a couple of these, from my pre-pondering days, and I'll still wear them because they're still in good shape, but I won't be adding anymore of them to my wardrobe. And, I'll encourage others to do likewise. I am not a billboard. People are not billboards.

Also, Gord and I are boycotting those two large carbonated beverage manufacturers, but that story's for another post.

Picture courtesy this site - it took some extra searching to find a picture without the corporate logo all front and centre!


DC said...

Good for you, Theresa! It's kind of amazing that people actually pay money to buy clothing and other items with corporate logos on them. I used to do this myself, though now I can't remember why.

One thing that is particularly concerning is when public schools put corporate logos and advertisements in their buildings in return for money. There is a little nature park adjacent to our son's elementary school. It has trees, wildflowers, birdhouses and a small pond. The only problem with it is that there's a sign on the entrance that says, "This park was built with a generous donation from _____________." The blank is a big box store. It makes me a little sad every time I see the sign because the store doesn't care about protecting the environment, and some of the things it sells have been found to have been made in sweatshops by kids not much older than our son. Parents who know nothing about the company's environmental and human rights record see the sign and think that the store is some kind of corporate saint for donating money to the school.

I guess it could be worse, though. In Colorado Springs, all of the buses were painted with large, colorful corporate advertisements -- so much insanity in this world. Well, that's okay. I'll enjoy the park anyway. At least they haven't found a way to put ads on the birds and flowers yet.

Anonymous said...

Good for you for making a stand!

Theresa said...

I'm just really sick and tired of all this advertising everywhere, to the point where it seems normal instead of unusual. Advertising in schools really bothers me - those two large carbonated beverage companies come to mind!

I was really saddened one day when I saw a female young person wearing a belt that had an oversize UPC code all the way around it, as part of its design. Very disheartening.

Green Bean said...

I'm completely with you on this! I recently finished reading Consuming Kids and it is eye opening how the marketers target our kids. I am sick to death of corporate logos on everything everywhere. They infiltrate our homes, our schools, our parks (as DC's example shows). We must take a stand and yours is a good place to start.

In any event, I wanted to thank you for a comment you left on my blog - on my post about the Church of Climate of Change. You wrote about when everything clicked when you made eye contact with a chicken. That really touched me and I ended up quoting you in a post I just put up. I hope that is okay and wanted to let you know. What a haunting story.

Theresa said...

Green Bean, yes, that is for sure ok! That experience was pivotal for me, and was one of the first things I wrote about on this blog. I remember it vividly and I'm sure I always will.

Chile said...

We have race t-shirts from running and biking events. I've been tempted to do the red circle/slash over some of the sponsors that I don't like. But, then I worry that it would have negative repercussions for the events themselves. I'm a bit torn on what to do with these shirts because they are covered in logos. :(

Theresa said...

That is a tough one. I also have a t-shirt from a fund raiser/walk event that has the name of a big pharmaceutical company on it. So far, I've been still wearing it.