Wednesday, February 20, 2013

MAC - gate: Federal Competition Bureau of Canada to investigate MAC Marketing Solutions?

An interesting development in the scandal known as MAC-gate.  A post has appeared on the MAC Marketing Solutions Facebook page that says:

It appears Chris Bullard has been advised by the Federal Competition Bureau of Canada that they have commenced an investigation concerning the fake buyers news story perpetrated by MAC Marketing Solutions on February 9th, 2013.

Quoting the Bureau: "The Bureau takes all allegations of false or misleading representations and deceptive marketing practices seriously."

Now lest you think the Federal Competition Bureau is a toothless organization, they have the power to levy fines of up to $10 million to an organization and up to $750,000 to an individual.

Here are some of the fines levied in 2012 and 2011 for false or misleading representations (click on images to enlarge):

Now as you will recall, there appears to be a number of MAC employees who colluded to perpetrate the story of the fake buyers. Whether or not actual collusion existed will be up to the Bureau to determine.

We also looked up the term 'conspiracy' on wikipedia:

Wiki says:
"A conspiracy may also refer to a group of people who make an agreement to form a partnership in which each member becomes the agent or partner of every other member and engage in planning or agreeing to commit some act. It is not necessary that the conspirators be involved in all stages of planning or be aware of all details. Any voluntary agreement and some overt act by one conspirator in furthance of the plan are the main elements necessary to prove a conspiracy."
This could turn out to be one very interesting investigation.

(NOTE: Due to some inappropriate comments, comments will now be moderated before being posted)


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  1. The Competition Bureau should investigate Cam Good and his Key Marketing too.

    1. Agreed. Cam Good and Key Marketing is a bigger fraud then MAC in my opinion.

  2. I complained to the Competition Bureau years ago about gas stations and their 3.5 cents off the advertised price of gas in Vancouver. It was a seemingly indefinate sale which is misleading to consumers on what the true cost of a product is. I complained that there is no sale as the price of a litre is advertised reflecting that the 3.5 discount will be given. 3 days after my complaint, no gas stations had that sale anymore after about 4 years of having it. They do take things seriously.

  3. I am surprised that after all the fuss on the internet, newspapers, television, no one actually alerted the competition bureau nor did they initiate investigation. We are ignorant to think that the Real Estate Council should be the sole source of disciplinary action, or that they would alert authorities of wrong doing. It goes to show that all it takes is one individual to write a letter. I bet no one wrote a letter regarding Cam Good and Key Marketing, yet everyone knows about that fraud. I bet that MAC thought this would die down and fade from memory in a couple of weeks. They don't realize that there has been so much questionable practices in the past, eventually there will be a time of reckoning, and this is it. MAC will be actually paying for Cam Good's helicopter stunt.

  4. How about the Vancouver is Awesome blog paid by Rennie? That should be investigated too...

  5. Just received this from the Real Estate Council:

    Real Estate Council Investigates Condominium Marketing Complaints

    Real estate licensees may be aware of recent media reports with respect to the marketing practices of some real estate licensees involved in the sale of condominium developments. The Council is currently investigating these matters to determine whether or not the activities reported on may constitute breaches of licensees' professional obligations under the Real Estate Services Act.

    The Council reminds all licensees of the importance of always acting with integrity and in a manner that maintains public confidence in the real estate industry. This obligation includes maintaining compliance with the Real Estate Services Act, Regulation and Council Rules.

  6. has anyone forwarded the competition bureau on cam good and his helicopter scam?

  7. Just wanted to provide some thoughts on the whole Mac Marketing scandal before speculation gets out of hand:

    Someone at the site probably made the call impromptu to have the two girls pretend to be Chinese buyers. The media had arrived that morning looking for an interview, and when none could be found/willing, they probably decided to just improvise.

    Usually, there are three individuals in a presentation centre; a sales manager, a sales representative, and a sales assistant. Chris would mostly likely be the sales rep and Amanda the sales assistant at this site. The blonde lady should be the sales manager.

    Was the media complicit in all this? Most likely yes. Just by taking a quick look, it would have been plainly obvious that all three of the ladies worked at this site. Any bystanders watching would have been understandably confused as to why these two staff members were being lead ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ around their own site, LOL.

    Was this a premeditated event? I would say no. If it was, wouldn’t they have worn something more casual and blend in as regular Chinese buyers that day? Chris & Amanda are all made up, and wearing the typical sales presentation outfit, namely all black, same as the sales manager. Wouldn’t someone have thought to change their names? There was definitely some misrepresentation going on that day, but you have to at least give Mac Marketing some credit. If they had indeed planned all from the top level, wouldn’t they have done a better job? They are a marketing company, and this was sad to say, pretty amateurish.

    If you examine everything together, the mostly likely conclusion is this really was a spontaneous, spur of the moment event.

    No one expected a backlash like this. And definitely none of the participants that day expected the story to be eventually uncovered on television and media in such a way. A lot of people got embarrassed and made a fool of (documented forever) on the internet. I believe it was just a couple of overzealous employees that made a momentary mistake and miscalculated the potential outcome.

    1. Key Marketing staged that realtor decked out on luluwear on their groupon televised fraud so she fits the profile of the demographic that use groupon: young women wearing lulu.

      Chris and Amanda dressed like rich Mainland Chinese girl in MAC's televised fraud to fit the profile of mainland chinese luxury SUV driving spoiled brats.

      I don't think it is spontaneous at all.

  8. Who's next?

  9. question for 2:54
    What about MAC rep, Nic Jensions who spoke on camera?
    So now we have 4 MAC employees who decided to act on their own at the "spur of the moment".
    You seem to know a lot about presentation centers which leads us to believe you work in the RE industry.

    1. I believe that Nic Jensen works for Cressey. They are the developers which hired Mac to do the marketing for this site. Nic and the other guy were probably at Maddox just that day to greet the media.

      As the senior member on site, I would think the decision to improvise probably went through him.

      I do not work in the RE industry, but have family members who do. Also, I've been to enough presentation centers to see how everything is set up. Normally, the marketing staff at the site is just women.

      My point is, yes, there is definitely lots of sales tactics and hype going on at these development sites. However, in this instance, it seems to be a dumb idea contrived by a couple of employees, rather than a planned attempt to deceive from the top.

      That being said, we should strive to expose misrepresentations & deceptions that go on in the real estate industry.

    2. Well as 3:12 has posted above it seems as there was senior management involved ,as heads have started rolling.

  10. As 2:54 PM posted, the arrow should point towards the media. Highly probable that the media guys could be complicit in what happened. First of all, they failed to perform due diligence. Secondly, they didn't identify Nil Jensen correctly. As stated by 4:11 PM, and the statment from MAC in their goden cube day description, ( Nil does not work for MAC. But on the media, it appears as if Nil is from MAC.

  11. When did Cam officially aknowldged that Chris and Amanda are MAC employee?
    I remember it was Tue=rsday lawt week, or Wednesday?
    Even Cam was away on family day weekend, he should have watched his MAC development featured TV show after his return on Tuesday.
    He wasn't aware till Thursday?
    Besides, although MAC has over 100 employees, if Chris and Amanda are presentation site staffs, Cam should have noticed when he saw TV show right away? (or check in with sales staffs if those sisters' parents from China indeed closed deal)

    1. If you were him and found out earlier, would you have said something public?

      I would probably hope for it to go away quietly.

  12. I certainly agree there was lack of due diligence by the media here. The event being Chinese New Year related and the target buyers being Chinese, strange how no one concluded these two Asian girls were part of the staff.

    They were wearing the same black suit, top/bottom as their manager! If you looked at the interview at the Bosa presentation site, their staff there had the same outfits.

  13. Cop out to "privacy" means they are lying again?

    A senior manager at MAC Marketing has resigned after two employees posed as potential real-estate buyers from China in two TV news stories.

    "Since last week, I have been able to interview staff and better understand the incident occurring Feb. 9," MAC Marketing Solutions president Cameron McNeill said in an email.

    "I have instigated appropriate actions and furthermore, I have accepted the resignation of a MAC senior manager. I want to honour everyone's privacy, so I will not comment on the specifics."

    Read more: