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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thur Post #1: MAC Marketing admits they mislead CBC-TV, BC-CTV and all their viewers/customers



Yesterday, on Facebook, a reader of this blog asked MAC Marketing Solutions about our Tuesday post suggesting that there may be some media manipulation going on by MAC.

The news stories showcased two sisters from China, Amanda and Chris Lee, and told us their parents would be coming to town for Chinese New Year's to buy them a Condo in Vancouver.

The story outlined how Asian buyers have been active in our dead market in recent weeks, that they were looking for many of the same things locals look for in real estate - and they're taking the plunge and buying.

The not-so-subtle message?  You should too.

Just one problem.

Not only does one of the 'sisters' happen to be a MAC employee (Amanda), but  according to her Facebook profile she's recently married. Scroll through the approximately 10 Facebook wedding photos and you can't find her 'sister' anywhere.

(Note: Amanda's Facebook account was closed to the public after it was prominently featured on this blog yesterday. Last night it had another 'alteration' when the account's last name was changed from Amanda Lee to Amanda Chu)

Yet according to the news stories arranged by MAC for CBC-TV and BC-CTV, we are to believe that Amanda Lee is looking for a condo with her 'sister' and that their parents will be coming to town to buy it for them?

Riiight.

It was all a fabrication, of course.

And in the face of the overwhelming evidence gathered by the local blogosphere, MAC had no choice but to fess up.
Chinese New Year is indeed a busy time across many of our communities. Last year at Maddox we experienced increased sales volume during our Chinese New Year efforts and this year have already sold a number of homes with several more expected. We do admit we should have been more transparent about the fact that a MAC Marketing Solutions employee was included in this story. We apologize for any misunderstanding that this may have resulted in.
Basically MAC used actors to stage a commercial for their condo development and then duped the news media to air their promotion on the 6:00 o'clock news for free.

The ethical line that has been crossed here cannot be understated.

MAC Marketing Solutions manipulated the news media to perpetuate a stereotype, then attempted to created hype around that stereotype which they hope will leverage phantom demand to encourage local buyers to "buy now before the Asian surge prices you out of the market"; all while portraying their fabrication as "news."

As one contributor noted,
This is truly insulting to thinking Chinese people. They must feel infuriated when they are stereotyped as they are in (the CTV.CBC) clip. A bimbo portraying a grown woman, waiting for parents approval to buy a home on a timeline predicated by some superstition?  
I would imagine that in reality, when a business plan is put into place by the Chinese, that no more consideration is given to the Year of the Snake than Warren Buffet gives to the horoscope.
CBC-TV reporter Matthew Black has advised me that he is following up on MAC's Facebook acknowledgement of the fraud.  

He has confirmed that he has brought the issue to his editor's attention and he was the one who posted to the Facebook thread asking for an accounting from MAC (click on image to enlarge):


Presumably there are plans, in the absence of a reply from MAC, to show up with camera's on their doorstep for some answers.

And who can blame them.

I imagine that since CTV-BC made this their lead story on last Saturday night's news, they will be keen to beat CBC to air with exposing this blatant exercise in media deception.

I mean nothing could be worse for a news outlet than finding out how your own reporters were duped by watching it explained on your rival's supper hour broadcast.

   
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18 comments:

  1. a few lawyers are going to have a late night....here's a wild guess at what we might expect: a scapegoat renegade account manager will be blamed for this, and apologies from MAC will be released on the premise that its failure to manage its own employees was due to its being overwhelmed by incredibly high volumes of offshore investors lured by unbelievably low prices....local rags will report how quickly and responsibly MAC addressed the situation, and MAC will coincidentally increase its advertising in said papers over the next few months...ahhh, efficient markets!

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  2. "I mean nothing could be worse for a news outlet than finding out how your own reporters were duped by watching it explained on your rival's supper hour broadcast."

    - or on a blog, for that matter.

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  3. Who said that were duped advertising dollars you know

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  4. When ever will the news media in Vancouver learn? Maybe this incident will be the turning point.

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  5. Let's analyze MAC statement shall we..

    "Chinese New Year is indeed a busy time across many of our communities." - it's busy with CNY celebrations but has little or no effect on house sales. That won't stop us trying to convince you otherwise though.

    "Last year at Maddox we experienced increased sales volume during our Chinese New Year efforts" - Sales ALWAYS increase at this time of year. Even in markets with zero 'Chinese' buyers. The increased sales are unrelated to CNY.

    "and this year have already sold a number of homes with several more expected." - this year started in January and they've managed to make a few sales since then. There have been no particular upswing in sales due to CNY but we're hopeful because, well, otherwise we'd be suicidal.

    "We do admit we should have been more transparent about the fact that a MAC Marketing Solutions employee was included in this story." - translation: we weren't hiding the fact the story is complete BS. You should have figured it out for yourselves but didn't. If you're too stupid to realise we're full of shit that's your problem. We are sorry we got caught though. And we're a little worried we might get roasted by CBC. But CTV is still our bitch.

    "We apologize for any misunderstanding that this may have resulted in." - it's just a 'misunderstanding'...not a lie. Or a fraud. Just a little lack of comprehension on your part. Again, we're sorry (we got caught).

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  6. I love how the ad before the CBC clip is for fraud protection. Isn't it ironic....

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  7. From Amanda Lee to Amanda Chu... to "Page Not Found"

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  8. hit up CBC and CTV's facebook page with a link to Whispers!

    http://www.facebook.com/ctv?ref=ts&fref=ts

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  9. https://www.facebook.com/ctvbcnews

    BC CTV news might be better than the national network

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  10. The Province is first out of the gate!
    http://www.theprovince.com/Local+real+estate+firm+admits+faking+investor+news/7965588/story.html

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  11. http://www.facebook.com/cameron.mcneill.52?fref=ts

    I believe this is the President of MAC Marketing.
    Perhaps he would like to hear from prospective "buyers"...

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  12. HOW did the news allow this bogus story to be aired anyways.

    And I mean bogus in every sense of the word. Who really cares that people are buying real estate because it's chinese new year. What about the enbridge pipeline that's about to destroy BC? I mean, there has to be a BILLION other stories to air, but they chose this.

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  13. Local news is, and has been hypnotized by real estate for many years. It is unfortunate there isn't more due diligence and a real process in their stories especially about real estate here.

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  14. If Mac Marketing can mislead you in adverstment, what is stopping them from misrepresenting their pre-sale projects. BUYERS Beware.

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    Replies
    1. Well that is indeed the point. If management there has so little regard for the public and the public media when engineering a manipulation then why indeed would they hold back from high pressure and misleading statements when the had a prospective buyer locked in a private room.

      Farmer

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  15. MAC= Mentally Abnormal Crooks

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