In our June issue, which was a graduation-themed issue, the First Nations Drum ran an ad for Joyce Murray, the Liberal candidate for Vancouver Quadra. The First Nations Drum does several theme-related issues during the year, such as Aboriginal Day, graduation time, drug awareness month, or Remembrance Day, and we use ad slogans that fit the theme of the issue. The ads in our graduation issue typically run with wording like “Congratulations to all 2015 graduates and success in your future.”
Joyce Murray has always supported Aboriginal issues, and we respect her stance. She has advertised with First Nations Drum for several years, but we made a serious mistake in a recent ad by using an improper slogan. The June 2015 ad in question was meant to have a slogan offering congratulations to all Aboriginal students graduating this year. Our salesperson came up with the slogan printed in Joyce Murray’s June ad, which read “Congratulations to all 2015 high school graduates. Sobriety, education, and hard work lead to success.” Sobriety is a loaded word. Sometimes the word sobriety is used in a slogan for the November Drug Awareness issue, but this was not an appropriate slogan for Joyce Murray’s ad in our graduation issue. We sincerely regret the offensive wording.
Joyce Murray did not have an opportunity to review the ad content, and we did not catch it in the proofreading process. The salesperson no longer works for us, and we shall be more watchful during the approval and editing process. We apologize again for our mistake and for the damage it might have caused.