July 15, 2015

Newspaper apologizes for "sobriety" ad

Joyce Murray, First Nation newspaper apologize for sobriety grad ad

Ad congratulating aboriginal high school grads referred to sobriety as key to success

By Laura Payton
Liberal MP Joyce Murray and the First Nations Drum newspaper are both apologizing after publishing an ad in which Murray congratulated aboriginal high school graduates and seemingly referred to sobriety as a key to success.

Both the newspaper, Canada's largest First Nations paper, and the Liberal Party say the ad copy was written by a salesperson at the newspaper and approved by one of Murray's staffers. They both say Murray never saw the copy.

The First Nations Drum newspaper and Murray both say a salesperson wrote the ad copy and it was published without Murray seeing it.

The ad features a large photo of a smiling Murray, next to copy congratulating "all 2015 aboriginal high school graduates."

"Sobriety, education and hard work lead to success," the next line says.
First Nations newspaper apologizes to B.C. MP for ‘inappropriate’ ad

By Ian BaileyRichard Littlechild, the general manager of the paper, a monthly with offices in Toronto and Vancouver that is celebrating its 25th anniversary, described “sobriety” as a “very loaded” word.

He blamed the text on an ad salesperson who came up with the wording and ran it without the approval of Ms. Murray’s office after her office and the newspaper agreed, in principle, to run the ad.

“They never got to see a proof,” Mr. Littlechild said from Toronto. “The salesperson himself came up with the slogan. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch it. I guess that makes us guilty also.”

He said the paper will run an apology online on Thursday, print an apology in the August issue and run the ad again without the offensive text.

He added that the salesperson, who has been employed by the newspaper for about 18 months, will be losing their job over the incident.

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