Canada is known for many great things, and now its known for its “plastic” money, with what has been pointed out recently as the “wrong” maple leaf on its currency.
According to Sean Blaney, a botanist with the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre, the leaf on the bank note are actually Norway maple and not Canadian.
Non-Canadian maple leafs on Canadian currency? The irony could be quite the global embarrassment if it is true.
Bank of Canada’s spokesperson Julie Girard, came up with a perfectly logical response, “It is not a Norway maple leaf. It is a stylized maple leaf and it is what it ought to be.” (Reuters)
The term “stylized” can be interpreted that the maple leaf isn’t traditional, and neither is it boring but brought up to date, modern or fashionable?
Julie Girard also stated that the banknote designers created the image with the help of a dendrologist, a botanist who specializes in trees and shrubs.“On the advice of this expert, steps were taken to ensure that the design of the leaf in the secondary window is not representative of a Norway maple,” she said, adding that it was less rectangular than a Norway maple.
Regardless if this is true or false, the new Canadian currencies have been an ethics problem since its debut.
First with a racial controversy of an Asian lab assistant on its new C$100 banknote, which focus groups said Asians should not be the only group represented. Critics then accused the bank of racism. The Bank of Canada then issued an apology an replaced the Asian looking woman for a more Caucasian looking woman. (It is always better to stick to dead Prime Ministers or National Heros).
An image says a thousand words, and conveys messages to both those who disseminate and receive. There is a serious lack of regards at time, that many of us must be aware of due to sensitivity and ignorance.
Before placing an image on materials to be seen by a public, first think about what those images are conveying. There has been plenty of times where a logo, or image is set to represent ideals or to attract through marketing that end up back-firing or being offensive unintentionally.
The eyes of this world has seen a lot due to the rapid pace of technology and social media. Knowledge of stereotypes and power ideologies are now clearer than ever to many.
Marketing campaigns with hidden agendas use to be overlooked, but now the public and media watch dogs look for every opportunity to catch a mistake, that ultimately would need to be explained.
Now we live in a world where we all have digital tools to capture via video or photography any mistake by anyone, at any given moment. We are all in danger of falling to the next victim of Social Media Scandal material.
Using the Bank of Canada’s mistake, or lack of regard for details as an example, let us always analyze through different lens what an image can mean to any audience.
Make sure you can defend what you portray, or else never allow it to come to light (or don’t put your name on it).