Column: Bad publicity can be good, even for Santa

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

There’s no such thing as bad publicity, even when it involves Satan.

I’ve never visited Courtenay on Vancouver Island, nor have I attended its Comox Valley Christmas Parade.

But the Dec. 1 event caught the attention of myself and many others due to an unfortunate typo in an ad in the Nov. 21 edition our sister newspaper, the Comox Valley Record.

Promoting the parade, the ad included “Pictures with Satan.” The error went viral, with the Twitterati taking a sudden interest in Comox. Other news ages jumped on Beelzebub bandwagon even talk show host/comedian Seth Meyers was able milk the Mephistopheles mix-up for a monologue.

To their credit, the Record team owned the error, stating in an editorial, “We often chuckle about the typos we have caught, breathing sighs of relief when the L in “public” or the B in “Hornby” is added by the last set of eyes before going to print…

“But when it happens in an ad, it becomes all that much more blatant. They are called ‘display ads’ for a reason.

“They are meant to stand out on the page. This one did that, for all the wrong reasons. On the bright side, everyone in the Comox Valley and beyond knows when the Courtenay Christmas parade is…”

Read more: Crude photos land Penticton’s Santa on the ‘naughty list’

Read more: Penticton residents, businesses embrace ‘naughty’ Santa

Read more: VIDEO: Newspaper’s ‘Photos with Satan’ ad appears on late-night TV

We empathize with the Record and applaud their response.

While the mistake was clearly unintentional, one need only do a Google search for “Comox Satan” to see the kind of traction the devilish little typo achieved.

Turning heads a week later was another news story involving Santa. Gary Haupt was terminated from a job as a Penticton mall Santa because of photos posted to his Facebook page.

The crude, if not offensive images show Haupt, dressed as Mr. Claus, engaged in a variety of naughty activities, including drinking from a flask and supposedly spanking a woman’s behind.

“Part of this is my naivety because I thought this was really funny…,” said Haupt, upset by the mall’s response but pleased with the subsequent outpouring of support.

Making headlines across the province, Haupt’s Santa has since been booked for numerous appearances, including a pub, a cafe, the Elks Hall and an elementary school.

When it comes to publicity, it appears Sata…, er, Santa can do no wrong.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Dancing with the Shuswap Stars raises $50,000 for hospice

Search underway for dancers to compete is next year’s event

Road closures planned for Holiday Train’s Shuswap visit

Roads in Canoe and Salmon Arm will be closed to cars during local celebrations

In photos: Mirella Project helps Salmon Arm residents go green at Christmas

Two more events planned to help combat climate change in December

Snapshot: Sicamous Fire Department collects for annual toy drive

On Sunday, Dec. 8 the fire department collected food and toys to benefit those in need.

Sicamous Eagles lose to league-leading Kimberley Dynamiters

The Eagles will be right back at it with a Sunday afternoon game against Chase.

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Two Okanagan residents convicted and fined for hunting out of season

Both residents were convicted in a Kelowna provincial court

Book examines history of B.C. wine industry

Author Luke Whittall has studied the growth of the industry from the mid-19th century to today

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Salmon Arm Silverbacks winless on Vancouver Island road trip

‘Backs come up short in Nanaimo, Alberni Valley and Duncan.

Competitive Christmas decorating takes sarcastic turn in Princeton

It’s not uncommon for neighbours to good-naturely compete with one another when… Continue reading

Most Read