Kitchener defends special treatment of BlackBerry-maker over advertising in city

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WATERLOO, Ont. - The City of Kitchener is defending its decision to get behind BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) in the lead-up to the launch of its new smartphones.

In an article published by the Waterloo Region Record daily newspaper, the city says it hasn't sold out to corporate interests by making a temporary exception to local policies about corporate advertisements.

The concern involves a decision by Kitchener city leaders earlier this week that allows RIM to decorate light poles in the city's downtown core with banners to promote BlackBerry and thank the community for its support.

The plan required local leaders to make an exception to long-standing rules about corporate advertising on city property. Councillors in Kitchener gave the company the go-ahead in a near-unanimous vote earlier this week.

The city's article points out that only council member voted against the exception.

The article says that fairness and consistency in its rules are admirable, the city council considers RIM to be a special company in the Waterloo Region because it has helped build the community into a leader in the technology sector.

Organizations: Research In Motion, TSX, Waterloo Region Record

Geographic location: Kitchener, Waterloo Region

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