Yesterday the question shifted from an abstract moral issue to something more concrete, when a message from Flegler appeared in my in-box. His query forced me to make a decision.
Dear Mr. Eatock:
Please contact me for details about the magazine's interview proposal: an in-depth interview with you; reviews of your new Centresdiscs [sic] CD and Gould book attached to your feature; and a major ad in two consecutive issues of the magazine. (Note that your label doesn't support Fanfare with advertising.)
First let me say that this is a little flattering. Flegler, in far-off New Jersey, has somehow figured out that the Canadian Music Centre is releasing my first CD, Colin Eatock: Chamber Music, this month; and that Penumbra Press is publishing my new book, Remembering Glenn Gould, in August. Evidently, this man leaves no stone unturned.
However, turning over a stone and getting blood from it are two different things. So no, Mr. Flegler, I won’t be buying an advertisement in Fanfare.
Furthermore, the whole thing is pretty dodgy. Perhaps there would be nothing wrong with demanding advertising dollars in exchange for reviews, or in only publishing favourable reviews – if Fanfare’s readers were clearly informed that these are the magazine’s policies. But they’re not.
Fanfare bills itself as “the magazine for serious record collectors.” Perhaps a better tagline would be “nice reviews of our advertisers’ CDs.”
I think I know my way around the classical-music block well enough to publicize my efforts myself. Heck, I’ll start right now: if you’d like to know more about my book, click here; if you’d like to know more about my CD, click here.
© Colin Eatock 2012