I was in Canada recently and heard about a contest that was taking place on AMP Radio in Calgary. The station referred to the contest as the “ultimate social experiment”. According to the station’s Facebook Page, “You decide whether to vote #BANK and maybe win the money or vote #BURN to see the money go up in flames.” It explains the “Burn the Money” option by saying: “If you aren’t guaranteed to win, why should anyone else?” It’s unclear as to how that makes any sense but according to the station, 54% of people voted to burn the money, which it proceeded to do, posting an online video. Ryan Lindsay and Katie Summer host the weekday morning show on 90.3 AMP Radio in Calgary, Alberta
While it’s clear this was nothing more than a publicity stunt to gain listeners, many Canadians were perturbed that the $5,000 was burned rather than being put to good use. I suppose the oil sands are creating so much wealth in Alberta, that the Provence literally has money to burn. Of course to the average Canadian with common sense, there is outrage regarding the burning of the money. In answer to the criticism, Ryan Lindsay said, “every single media entity in the country, in the world, spends money on promotion.” He continued by saying that, “the $5,000 that we, over the course of two weeks, took and have no unfortunately burnt, is a fraction of what almost any other entity in this city spends on their marketing costs alone and it’s garnered a lot of talk.”. This publicity stunt demonstrates just how desperate the media has become to gain followers. With the ever-increasing number of ways to listen to music and to obtain information, the competition for audience share has become ever more competitive. However, it’s a sad state of affairs when the only way to get attention is to burn money. Sadder yet is the fact that 54% of those who voted preferred that no one have the money. On a side note, does the new plastic Canadian currency burn or melt?