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

‘Epic sky palace’: Island businesses help create dream treehouse for boy recovering from cancer

‘It was kind of a bright shining beacon at the end of a horrible, dark tunnel’

Police suspect foul play in Cowichan death

Man, 53, dies after reported assault early Monday

Police recover body of Tofino man near Hot Springs Cove

An RCMP dive team has recovered the body of a Tofino man in his 50s.

Tenant forced out of sewage-flooded Victoria building angry at ‘lack of human decency’

Woman says tenants weren’t treated like ‘human beings’ when forced from homes in Wellburn’s building

VIDEO: Protesters block entrance to Victoria government building to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

Activists want Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs demands to be upheld, observed and respected

Nanaimo mom will celebrate 40th in style after $500,000 lotto win

Crystal Giesbrecht matches all four numbers on BC/49 Extra

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Proposed development freeze melts in North Cowichan

Huge pro-business crowd at Monday night meeting carries the day

Victoria man out $6,000 in latest gift card phone scam

Fraudsters claimed to be a member of a bank’s “fraud sting team”

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Most Read