Adbusters pulled from Shoppers’ shelves

TORONTO — A leading drugstore chain has pulled a controversial magazine from its racks, but it insists the decision has nothing to do with complaints that its latest issue contained anti-Semitic images.

Shoppers Drug Mart said last week it will no longer sell Adbusters, an anti-consumerist/activist magazine based in Vancouver.

Lisa Gibson, a spokesperson for Shoppers, told the Globe and Mail that the decision was unrelated to a campaign by Canadian Jewish Congress against the magazine, which in its last issue ran a photo essay equating Israel’s military actions in Gaza with the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto.

Congress and Honest Reporting Canada had urged supporters to “take the magazine up the cashier, open it to the appropriate page and tell the clerk or the owner that “this is anti-Semitic and shameful,’ and walk away.”

“We only have a certain amount of magazine shelf space allotted to us in each store,” Gibson explained, “so we do a fairly regular review of the magazine assortment and look at sales and other things. So it was actually pulled as part of that review.”

Congress CEO Bernie Farber denied his organization had lobbied Shoppers to pull Adbusters.

In 2004, Adbusters was condemned in Jewish circles for running a list of influential neo-conservative U.S. policymakers and placing an asterisk next to the Jewish names.

Responding to the move by Shoppers, Adbusters asked its supporters to “send an e-mail to Shoppers Drug Mart’s CEO Jürgen Schreiber and tell him that until Adbusters is back on the shelves, you won’t step foot in their store.

“Then send a note to the Canadian Jewish Congress… reminding them that in a free country, we debate rather than censor.”