On February 14, 2013, Council received an email from a CBC News reporter, K.W.,regarding concerns about an interview on February 9, 2013, that had been conducted by a reporter from CBC and CTV with purported buyers from China, with respect to the marketing of a project and the impact that Chinese New Year may have on sales activity. The report had aired on CBC and CTV on February 9.
The background was that on February 9, 2013, arrangements were made by the general sales manager of MAC Marketing Solutions Inc. ("the brokerage") for reporters from CBC and CTV to attend a sales presentation centre which was marketing pre-sales on behalf of the brokerage.
When the sales manager was unable to attend the media event, she arranged for a licensee, Nicolas Jensen to attend the sales centre on behalf of the brokerage and to be interviewed by the reporters.
When Mr. Jensen attended the centre, he observed that four hostesses were sitting at the front desk. Prior to his interviews, he asked two of the four brokerage employees to take off their name tags, change their clothes as much as they were able and to act as pedestrian traffic behind the site model in the centre while the interview was being conducted.
When he made these arrangements, he did not ask them to provide statements to the press nor did he intend for that to take place.
After Mr. Jensen's interview with CTV, he was asked by that reporter if she could interview a potential buyer on camera. Mr. Jensen approached a couple who were present in the sales centre and asked them if they would speak to the media. They refused.
Mr. Jensen then spoke to the two brokerage employees and told them that the reporter wanted camera shoots and for them to continue being traffic. The media believed the employees were prospective buyers and were being made available to be interviewed. As Mr. Jensen prepared for his next interview with CBC, he observed that the reporter from CTV was interviewing the two employees and one of the employees in particular was answering questions and posing as an international buyer.
Observing that, Mr. Jensen left the centre and called the MAC Marketing VP of Sales (who managed the two employees) to tell her what had happened and for her to call him back as soon as possible.
Mr. Jensen then returned to the centre and completed his interview with CBC. All of the licensees and employees present at the time of the interview in question state that the events happened very quickly. The information provided to the media by the two employees was not rehearsed or coached.
On February 14, 2013, after the story had aired on CBC and CTV, some bloggers recognized the two women, or at least one of them, and after researching social media and other sources, it was discovered that the women were actually employees of the brokerage.
The managing broker of the brokerage issued an apology on February 17, 2013 for the media having been misled.
Due to the controversy and publicity of the situation, Mr. Jensen resigned from MAC Marketing on February 18, 2013.
Mr. Jensen has no prior discipline history with the Council
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