Media releases

  • Black Friday: Good deals, but at what cost?

    MEDIA RELEASE: 23 November 2021 – R0127

    To marketing expert Eric Dolansky, the supposed rationale behind Boxing Day at least made some sense. The concept was retailers unloading unsold Christmas inventory at a big discount. But Black Friday?

    “It’s sort of meaningless in Canada,” says Dolansky, Associate Professor of Marketing, International Business and Strategy in Brock University’s Goodman School of Business. “We don’t have a holiday, we don’t have everyone out shopping. There’s no story for why we celebrate Black Friday in Canada except for retailers to advertise to us and tell us we’d be fools to miss out on these deals.”

    And that must-buy pressure has morphed far beyond one day, he says.

    “Black Friday wasn’t a thing in Canada 10 or 15 years ago and now it seems like it’s the entire month of November,” says Dolansky, who is available to speak with the media this week in advance of Friday, Nov. 25.

    Also available to speak to the issue is Jennifer Good, Associate Professor of Communication, Popular Culture and Film at Brock, who is an expert in environmental communication and had an op-ed column published in the Hamilton Spectator recently about the impact of consumerism on climate change.

    “Black Friday is perhaps the most iconic example of the challenges currently facing humanity,” says Good. “In the era of climate change and the sixth mass extinction, the most materially consumptive part of the world buys record quantities of stuff the day after giving thanks.”

    Good says the consumption mentally goes back to end of the Industrial Revolution when mass production and advertising teaching us to be consumers converged.

    That marketing push has never let up, but Good says now is definitely the time to alter our thinking.

    “If there is going to be change, arguably we need to collectively question Black Friday,” she says. “This means telling Black Friday stories that include the environmental and climate change toll.”

    And if you are feeling the need to be a consumer this Friday, Dolansky’s advice is to be an educated buyer.

    “The consumer has the opportunity to look into these deals and compare prices more easily than ever before,” he says.

    To the rumours that some stores raise prices artificially in advance of big sales days like Black Friday, Dolansky points out that Canadian law says in order to advertise something as 60 per cent off, for example, that item must be sold at full price for at least one month per year.

    “It’s up to the consumer to be a sophisticated enough buyer to make the effort to look more closely at those claims,” he says.

    Jennifer Good, Associate Professor of Communication, Popular Culture and Film, and Eric Dolansky, Associate Professor of Marketing, International Business and Strategy, are available for media interviews this week.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews: 

    * Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases

  • Brock University joins Scarborough Charter anti-Black racism National Action Plan

    MEDIA RELEASE: 18 November 2021 – R0126

    When Brock University Interim President Lynn Wells signed her name at the bottom of the Scarborough Charter document, it signalled the University’s participation in a landmark movement in the fight against structural racism.

    Brock joined nearly 50 other universities and colleagues from across Canada Thursday, Nov. 18 to sign the Scarborough Charter, which comes as the result of a year-long collaborative process that started during the first National Dialogues and Action for Inclusive Higher Education and Communities held in October 2020. The two-day national forum focused on anti-Black racism and Black inclusion in Canadian higher education.

    “The principles outlined in the Scarborough Charter reflect Brock’s commitment to foster a culture of inclusivity, accessibility, reconciliation and decolonization for our students, employees and the community around us,” said Wells. “Last Fall, Brock University was proud to be part of the National Dialogues forum, and today we are proud to be taking the next step in this important national movement.”

    Following the forum, an inter-institutional committee immediately got to work drafting the charter based on the perspectives, insights and conversations that took place. Then, in March 2021, partner institutions began consulting with their own communities and institutions for their feedback and input on the charter, a process finished this past summer.

    The charter identifies key barriers to Black inclusion and approaches to identifying and responding to them. It also contains concrete actions and accountability mechanisms for institutions to deliver on their promise to make structural and systemic change.

    The partner institutions wanted those mechanisms built into the charter as a way to maintain accountability, an important step in moving beyond rhetoric into taking meaningful action.

    “Post-secondary institutions can and must play an important role in examining anti-Black racism and making equity and inclusion a priority,” Wells said. “I am proud of the work being done by Brock and the many other institutions across Canada who are signing the Scarborough Charter today and committing to address the realities of anti-Black racism.”

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases