[Letters] Boycotting the boycott

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[Letters] Boycotting the boycott

Recently, an NGO announced a list of corporations, including Samsung and some tour agencies. Those companies were designated as evil, and the organization asserted that they should be boycotted. The reason? It is only one thing; they didn t advertise in Hankyoreh, the only true, honest, and right newspaper in Korea, they claimed.

It is a company s duty to maximize its output, compared to input, thus they will choose where to advertise accordingly. If the big three newspapers are read by the majority, it is reasonable for companies to advertise there.

Nobody ever forced anyone to read certain newspapers. The big three each provide a product that suits consumer demand, so they have remained the major papers. If Hankyoreh was seen as more reliable, more would read it. People prefer other papers because Hankyoreh lacks quality.

Currently the three major newspapers Chosun, JoongAng and Dong-A ilbos are consumed by the majority, and Hankyoreh is not. Naturally companies want to place advertisements in a paper with a higher circulation, so many companies place ads there.

Now, supporters of a newspaper that is not as widely read as the big three says: Why, you evil, unethical, anti-civic companies! How dare you not give the paper ads so that they can earn money! The supporters then start to boycott those companies who did not give ads to their favorite, less successful paper.

What kind of nonsensical logic is this?

If you went to buy a computer, you d most likely choose the one with the highest quality within your spending power. If a manufacturer of a lower quality computer came up to you and said, Since you bought a good computer before, now you must buy ours in order to be fair, you would, of course, refuse their demand. It would be even worse, if then, a bunch of people denounced your name in the streets by saying This guy only supports major companies, leaving poorer companies like ours to ruin!

Does this make sense to you?

The civic organizations say, The last fort of capitalism is the organized power of ethical consumers. Boycotting companies for not advertising in a specific newspaper does not seem ethical. They themselves are the irregularity of capitalism. They should not distort the market unreasonably just for their political interest.

Kang Yoon Seung, student, Hankuk University
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