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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Have you seen the comet? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance

Rare spectacle will be visible throughout July

‘Resistance’ from Interior Health puts races in Penticton on hold

It’s unknown if races planned for this weekend at the Penticton Speedway will take place

Oliver town hall reopens to public as COVID-19 test comes back negative

Oliver Town Hall was closed briefly as a staff member showed multiple COVID-19 symptoms

RCMP to investigate hate-motivated vandalism in Summerland

Swastikas and other graffiti spray painted on house and at bandshell

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. health officials pleased with likely extension of Canada-U.S. border closure

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the situation is ‘very serious in the United States’

Shuswap residents see aircraft dropping fire retardant in direction of Falkland

Wildfire BC says no fire, crews in two air tankers and a bird dog were just practising

Expansion project to nearly double the size of Okanagan school

“With 10 new classrooms on the way, students are one step closer to saying goodbye to portables”

Lifesaving Society urges caution after two drownings in Central Okanagan

The warning comes after a drowning incident on July 9

Children suffer swollen eyes, burns while playing at Lower Mainland spray park

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

Fundraiser kick-started for Vernon woman battling tongue cancer

Woman’s four-year-old twins are the driving force behind her fight

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Lake Country beachgoers reminded to maintain distance amid COVID-19

Signage, park rangers, park patrol students in place to monitor busy beaches in Central Okanagan

Most Read