Column: Bad publicity is good, even for Santa

Column: Bad publicity is good, even for Santa

Santa foibles don’t seem to be hurting those caught in the eye of the storm

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

I’ve never visited Courtenay, B.C., 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 of sister paper, 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 terminted 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, an Elks Hall and an elementary school.

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

Lachlan Labere writes for the Salmon Arm Observer.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read