I was told that "Melanie from MAC" would be there last Saturday. But, if she was, I certainly didn't meet or see her. Nic Jensen - who appears on camera in the original story - was the principal MAC person on hand for both myself and Ms Paterson.
So now we have answers to 2 questions from yesterday.
- (1) No... Ms. Briggs wasn't at the Maddox presentation centre during the media photo-op.
- (2) Yes... Ms. Briggs was involved in setting the stage for what would become a media fiasco, but she bailed on attending the actual event at the last moment.
They checked out the scale model, they toured the show suite. On Saturday these two young women seemed keen on buying at a downtown high rise called Maddox.
So we put them in our story on real estate and Chinese New Year.
Kirk Williams: Things aren't all they seem at this condo presentation centre.
Take a look at the women taking a tour, marvelling at all the features.
Potential buyers hoping to make a lucky start to the lunar new year by buying a condo?
Matthew Black was the reporter on the story. He asked marketing staff for help in finding Chinese buyers.
One couple didn't want to do interviews. Initially the two women were shy too.
Matthew Black: A few minutes later that story changed again and this time they were going on camera. And this is how we met Chris and Amanda.
“We’re trying to understand how this happened right now, and so I’m just trying my best to be open with you and just say that I’m very sorry that it happened,” McNeill maintained that the theme of the story – that Lower Mainland condo sites saw a spike in Chinese buyers around Lunar New Year – was completely true.“I think that the ladies probably fit the profile of the story,” he said. “At the moment I don’t know whose idea that was; I don’t even know if they took it upon themselves to make that up.”
“All I can say is that I deeply apologize for having misled the media for being there,” said Mr. McNeill, who said he was out of town over the Family Day long weekend, when the news segments aired. “We were busy and I don’t know if the girls were put up to it, or just put on the spot, or if it happened spontaneously.
“I don’t know all the details about what precisely happened that day. I want to get to the bottom of this. I don’t know if it was an overzealous employee or if this happened in a formalized way.”
It was an impromptu thing. A spontaneous action.
So we ask the question again.
And if that's the case, it means MAC set out in a premeditated fashion to fake the visual (and thus, the news) regardless of the legitimate buyer backing out.
This whole charade appears a lot more formalized than McNeill is admitting to.
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