While this is not even close to a good practice, the main purpose of a company is to make money (not to follow best practices.)
My recommendation would be to point out the areas in which fixing this problem could help make them more money. As far as I can see, those are mainly:
- The problem with building release may have other impacts which could cost money in unforeseen ways. It is better to have reliable code because it is cheaper to maintain and develop.
- Efficiency. The code will run faster and be smaller without debugging symbols.
- Less easy to reverse engineer / remove protections from.
- Less likely to look developmental (in terms of software development) disabled.
If they don't care about any of the reasons NOT to release debug code, why waste resource getting release to build? If you work for a profitable company, instead of an organization with zero profit motive, there needs to be some benefit to an action which will cost resources.
I hope this helps.
-Brian J. Stinar-