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Showing posts with label BC CTV clip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BC CTV clip. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wed Post #1: More on the MAC story



Yesterday's posts generated a wave of attention, and rightly so.

The hype created by Chinese New Year is crucial.  And last weekend it seemed we were hit by a media blitz from all over.

But there was a central theme to all the media hype, behind which lurked MAC Marketing Solutions.

We saw them prominently in this article in the Vancouver Sun.
 “It’s hard to say what’s going to happen this year, but I expect we will see a bump in sales activity during the month of February,” said Cameron McNeil, president of project-marketing firm MAC Marketing Solutions.
They were also front and centre in this one over on CTV.

CTV took us to the Maddox condo development in downtown Vancouver. Maddox is being marketed by MAC Marketing Solutions and as MAC's Nick Jensen explains: "It's certainly one of our biggest times of the year. We see a lot of traffic over the next two weeks... certainly these two weeks are critical to developers and really set the tone for the market ahead" 
Critical?
How critical? Critical enough to manufacture the photo op to launch this important two week period? The CTV-TV story featured two sisters who were looking to buy a condo at Maddox: Chris and Amanda Lee.
Curiously MAC Marketing Solutions has an Administrative Assistant named Amanda Lee who not only works for MAC Marketing Solutions - but her current background says she's attached to the Maddox Downtown condo development profiled in the CTV-TV.  We learned this from a LinkedIn profile:
And as we noted yesterday, this Amanda Lee has a Facebook page and bears a striking similarity to the young buyer profiled in the CTV-TV story. If the two are one and the same, it raises some serious ethical questions.
Our post yesterday also had a curious twist. 
CBC-TV reporter Matthew Black contacted this blog stating that he would "like to do a 'myth busting' style piece on the supposed spike in real estate sales during Chinese New Year."  Awesome. We humbly suggested Mr. Black could start by looking into this Ms Amanda Lee and the conflict inherent in having a sales rep pose as a buyer for a crucial press op by the developer. If this is what happened, then the crafty photo op compounds the apparent manipulation by stressing that wealthy Asians are just like you and I... and are looking for the same things in a Condo. The (not-so) subliminal message being: the Asians are buying again, you should too! Now the only problem with that suggestion is that the newsstory was done on CTV-BC.  Rarely will you see one media outlet target the content of another media outlet. (Unless it involves a politician.  Can you imagine the uproar if Christy Clark set up a photo op and used a staff member to portray a member of the public as the central part of a photo op without revealing this in a disclaimer?  The media would be all over exposing that like white on rice.  There would also be widespread media disgust at having been manipulated in this fashion) But wait! It wasn't just CTV-BC that ran coverage of the MAC photo op.  So did CBC-TV. And it was Matthew Black himself that reported the story:
   
Basinga!  The expose can begin!
Interestingly CBC-TV starts it off with it's own subliminal slight towards the developers as they appear to ask if the developers are selling snake oil hype:
The CBC-TV story focused almost exclusively on the other sister we saw in the CTV-TV story, Chris Lee.  But Amanda is prominent in the CBC version. She is seen walking around with her 'sister' and posing as an interested potential buyer: 
Will we see an expose on this by CBC-TV? 
Or could it be that this was a legitimate story. Could it be that Amanda Lee is not only a member of the MAC sales team, but is also a customer - her wealthy Asian parents coming in for CNY to purchase one of Amanda's condos for the sister duo? Or maybe they are two separate people, the similar names a mere coincidence?
For what it's worth we followed up with Mr. Black on his original email.
He tells us he has gotten a few tips from the contributors to our comments section and that it's a story he will be pressing his bosses to pursue.
We'll see what happens.
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Email: village_whisperer@live.ca    Click 'comments' below to contribute to this post. Please read disclaimer at bottom of blog.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tues Post #1: Media Manipulation? You decide.



Took a break for the long weekend, but let's pick up where we left off.

On Thursday we talked about all the hype in the real estate world with the upcoming Chinese New Year.

 “It’s hard to say what’s going to happen this year, but I expect we will see a bump in sales activity during the month of February,” said Cameron McNeil, president of project-marketing firm MAC Marketing Solutions.
Take note of that company, MAC Marketing Solutions. We'll be coming back to that shortly.

For now, back to the Sun article
McNeil said Asian buyers have been more active in the Metro Vancouver market in recent weeks than they were through the middle of 2012.
Asian buyer have been more active in the Metro Vancouver market in recent weeks?

We laughed at that on Thursday.  Smacks of media created hype to us, another lame attempt to generate phantom demand as a lever to encourage buyers to "buy now before the Asian surge prices you out of the market".
McNeil said his salespeople are seeing an increase in activity, including from Chinese buyers.

“To me, (Chinese buyers) are a leading indicator,” McNeil said. “What I mean is, when Chinese buyers are active, it is a little bit of a bellwether (for the overall market), and the Chinese are active.”

Buyers are taking their time, McNeil said, but for developments in good locations with “fair values, prices aren’t coming off and are selling very well.”

He added that locations with established neighbourhoods, good schools and proximity to rapid transit are popular
As frequent poster, Bo Xilai, noted:
Yeah, I can see wealthy Mainland Chinese buyers consider proximity to rapid transit as being SUPER important to their buying decision.

Why take the Bentley when you can ride the Canada Line?

Maybe Mr. MacNeil is trying to get his real audience – brokeass first time home buyers – off the fence.
That is exactly what we think the entire 'media campaign is all about, manipulating local first time home  buyers off their collective butts to get into the market.

All weekend long, articles appeared promoting this thread.

Perhaps the best was this one over on CTV. The title of the news piece: "Year of the Snake nets condo sales: developers"


CTV takes us to the Maddox condo development in downtown Vancouver. Maddox is being marketed by MAC Marketing Solutions... yes, the same MAC Marketing Solutions from the Vancouver Sun article on Thursday.

In the Maddox display suite, CTV introduces us to two potential Asian buyers.
Chris Lee, who moved to Vancouver from China two years ago, said she and her sister are looking to buy a hip downtown condo, and now that their parents are in town for two weeks celebrating Chinese New Year, they have financial help. 
“If we like this place we have to tell them and they make the decision,” Lee said. “Usually Chinese people like to buy during this time.” 
Condo developers embraced the influx of offshore buyers, with some companies bringing in additional Chinese-speaking staff to help sell units.
Chris does all the talking, but the two sisters are identified in the story. They Amanda Lee and Chris Lee.

So let's summarize here for a moment.  

The market is in a deep slump, but we get a big media blitz for Chinese New Year telling everyone the market is suddenly "alive in recent weeks with Asian buyers." Asian buyers who are looking for the same sort things in real estate that local buyers are looking for.

At the heart of the media blitz is MAC Marketing Systems. They conveniently back up their media campaign with two classic children of wealthy Asian parents, parents who are coming to town to buy them a condo for CNY.

See?  The market is alive and well... the overseas Asians are buying again, are you going to be left out?

Hmmm.

Not so fast though. These 'overseas wealthy Asians' might not be as 'overseas' as we have been lead to believe.

I know when I first saw this clip, the spidey senses were a-tingling. Didn't we see something like this last year when one of Cam Good's salespersons posed as a groupon condo buyer for Global TV

Other skeptics were having their doubts too. Over on VCI, Saint Patrick dug up an interesting profile on linkedin (click on image to enlarge):


Yep... you read that right.  

Coincidence of coincidences, MAC Marketing Solutions has an Administrative Assistant named Amanda Lee who not only works for MAC Marketing Solutions - but her current background says she's attached to the Maddox Downtown condo development. 

You don't say?  No ethic issues here, move along... I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

The weekend was topped off by an interesting email in my in-basket which I have only gotten around to reading early this morning.  It is from Matthew Black, a reporter from CBC-TV:
Hello, 
My name is Matthew Black and I'm a reporter with CBC Vancouver TV. 
I 'm looking to a 'myth busting' style piece on the supposed spike in real estate sales during Chinese New Year. I was quite interested by your blog posts on this subject. 
Would you be available to chat sometime today? I can be reached at 604.XXX.XXX or on my cell at 778.XXX.XXX 
-Matthew Black CBC News Vancouver
Appreciate the email, Matthew.  But the reality is that an anonymous blogger may not be the best interview for a TV reporter (kinda defeats the whole 'anonymous' thing).

But if you're up for it, I'd be willing to bet Amanda Lee would make a great focus for a 'myth busting style news piece.'

If the CTV Amanda and the MAC Marketing Solutions Amanda are both one and the same, why is the media standing by while the public is blatantly manipulated by the real estate industry in this fashion?

See if you can get her parents too. I understand they're in town this week.

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Please read disclaimer at bottom of blog.