Let’s talk, Bell.

Evan d'Entremont
Jan 31, 2019 · 2 min read


To be clear: I have only one simple demand. Stop using mental health as an advertisement. If Bell truly cared, they would donate without the charade. #letstalk is just as powerful, if not moreso.

#letstalk about how Bell only donates when you talk about Bell.

Bell, since 2011 you’ve raised $9 million in “community fund grants.” You also spent 15 times that to name a sports stadium.

I’d be more impressed if the cost of telecommunication services in Canada wasn’t off the charts. You had a revenue of $22,719,000,000 in 2017, and $21,719,000,000 in 2016. For comparison, it’s as if I, as an average Nova Scotian, spent a sum total of $5 a year on mental health, yet dropped $50 on a sports jersey.

You earned a revenue of approximately $757.30 per Canadian citizen, and spent $0.50 on their mental health. I’m not convinced this is a fair trade. The average cost per click in 2018 was about $0.75. The least you could do is match a regular ad spend, instead of getting impressions at a 1500% discount.

Has anyone considered that advertising campaign might be in poor taste? Has anyone looked at “Bell Let’s Talk” and thought, maybe we shouldn’t be advertising on the backs of sick people? Of the dead? Of the broken people and homes they leave behind?

Every year, 5,800 people in Canada commit suicide. These numbers are rising. My little brother killed himself, days before “Bell Let’s Talk” last year. We hadn’t even buried him and were inundated with advertising for telecommunications services at his expense.

It’s clearly not about talking. That’s why your worksheets include as much branding as your retail stores. That’s why you use the word Bell more times than “mental health” or “help” on your site. That’s why your donations are contingent on people retweeting, and talking about you; just like any other two-bit advertising campaign.

You want to get people talking, great. Don’t make it about you. You are taking advantage of people’s grief, and pain to sell telecommunications services.

Do you want to raise awareness? Keep your branding out of it. Your spare change won’t bring our lost ones back.

To everyone else; #letstalk

- A Concerned Citizen


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