You all remember MAC-gate, don't you?
That was the headline grabbing real estate media manipulation scandal in early 2013 involving MAC Marketing Solutions, a scandal that introduced us to the now infamous 'Chris Lee' and Amanda Lee.
'Chris Lee' was the fake name for the MAC Marketing sales assistant who along with MAC administrative assistant Amanda Lee, presented themselves as house-hunting sisters to both CBC-TV and CTV-BC as part of a condo marketing publicity stunt.
The duo claimed their parents would be in town from China for the Lunar New Year to help them purchase a condo.
All the public was ever told about the fiasco by those responsible was this Facebook posting by MAC Marketing Solutions president Cameron McNeill...
In an email to CBC, MAC Marketing owner Cameron McNeill writes he implemented "appropriate actions" vs employees who duped media and that he accepted the resignation of a "MAC senior manager." But, McNeill won't comment on specifics, citing privacy concerns. Statement from MAC Marketing doesn't elaborate on what "decisive actions" it took, or who was fired/resigned after duping media.
… but there was also Nic Jensen, the lead MAC executive on site that day:
CBC-TV reporter Matthew Black advises Briggs organized the press gig and was supposed to be in attendance. But when the TV crews showed up, Black states she was a no-show.
Was she involved in the pre-planning of this deception?
What we do know for sure is that all the players in attendance before the TV cameras that day purposefully lied to and deceived the media/public.
These actions raise huge questions about their character and ability to be licensed in the real estate industry.
According to the British Columbia edition of the Canadian Real Estate Association's Realtor Code of Ethics:
The REALTOR® Code of Ethics of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is universally recognized by real estate professionals and consumers alike as the measure of professionalism in real estate. The REALTOR® Code is intended to define the high standard of performance the public has a right to expect from those licensed to display the REALTOR® trademark.As REALTORS®, we accept a personal obligation to the public and to our profession. The Code of Ethics of The Canadian Real Estate Association embodies these obligations.
As REALTORS®, we are committed to:• Professional competent service
• Absolute honesty and integrity in business dealings• Co-operation with and fairness to all• Personal accountability through compliance with CREA's Standards of Business PracticeTo meet their obligations, REALTORS® pledge to observe the spirit of the Code in all of their activities and conduct their business in accordance with the Standards of Business Practice and the Golden Rule — Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Article 15: Advertising ClaimsClaims or offerings in Advertising must be accurate, clear and understandable.
Back on April 19th, 2013, CBC-TV reporter Matthew Black told us that he:
"wrote RECBC and was told their investigation is still ongoing. They couldn't say when it would conclude saying it depends on 'the volume of complaints' being looked into and 'how involved' the investigation needs to be."As we know, the scandal didn't stop the main players from plying their trade. In a promotional photo for the MThree development in Coquitlam, the MAC employee we know as the fictitious 'Chris Lee' and MAC sales director Melanie Briggs are shown as members of the sales team.
In any other field, employees under a cloud of suspicion regarding their conduct would be placed on administrative leave. Apparently this expectation doesn't exist in the real estate industry.
Word now comes that the RECBC may finally be winding up their investigation.
More on this over the Easter Weekend.
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