No need to apologize for racy ad: professor
Published Tuesday, January 8, 2013 6:34PM AST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 8, 2013 6:35PM AST
The day after Canada Post apologized for delivering mail containing full-frontal nudity and graphic language, a Halifax philosophy professor says they have nothing to apologize for.
The racy ad was delivered to mailboxes in a Halifax neighbourhood through Canada Post. It wasn’t in an envelope and it wasn’t sealed.
Some unknowing recipients were stunned to see a picture of a naked woman and graphic language after opening the ad, but Professor Mark Mercer didn’t find it so shocking.
He says the mail should have been in an envelope, but doesn’t find it outrageous that it wasn’t.
“If people selling other products and services are allowed to make their ads visually attractive right off the bat without an envelope, then there has to be some pretty good reason for saying that people selling these goods and services must put their ads in an envelope,” says Mercer.
Canada Post had apologized for the ad, saying there was a mistake and the mail should not have been delivered.
"Sexually-explicit material is non-mailable unless it is sent in an opaque envelope with the words "Adult Material" or similar wording," says a Canada Post spokesperson.
Canada Post says the mailing order was reviewed and it was determined the ad was not appropriate, so the postal service tried to intercept it.
They say they caught about 95 per cent of the ads, but won’t say how many pieces actually slipped through.
While Mercer was not offended by the material, he does take issue with the fact that CTV News decided not to air all of the content during its newscast.
“It’s part of the story, so your viewers weren’t given full information,” says Mercer.
However, a professor of journalism ethics at the University of King’s College disagrees. David Swick says the kind of graphic content featured in the ad should not appear on television.
“You would have had mothers calling you up screaming,” says Swick. “If you're going to put this in the hands of people, and of children, who don't want it, it's an assault.”
Canada Post is continuing to investigate how some of the ads were mailed out.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell