Conflicting advertisements

Conflicting advertisements

Companies and even a government agency continue to broadcast advertisements that are not consistent with the recommendations of Public Health, say experts.

“This winter, get your adrenaline pumping. Go on an adventure on the exceptional trails of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, ”suggests Bonjour Québec, the government’s official tourist site, in a Facebook post.

Conflicting advertisements

Screenshot from Facebook

Bonjour Québec suggests going on an adventure even if Public Health recommends limiting travel.

The promotional message has been seen by thousands of people since December 21. It was withdrawn after calls from Newspaper.

“I find it curious to say the least that a government agency invites people from anywhere to go to Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Really, it goes against what [la Santé publique] asks, ”said Benoit Duguay, professor in the Department of Urban and Tourism Studies at the University of Quebec in Montreal.

Indeed, the authorities still recommend limiting travel from one city and region to another, at a time when cases of coronavirus continue to increase.

Abitibi-Témiscamingue is also in the orange zone, while the rest of the province is mostly red.

Difficult compromise

More pragmatic, Marc D. David, professor at the University of Sherbrooke specializing in marketing communications, believes that Bonjour Quebec wanted to spare the goat and the cabbage.

“On the surface, there is a lack of consistency, but there is no deep contradiction,” he adds, guessing a desire to promote winter tourism despite the pandemic.

For its part, the Ministry of Tourism defends itself well against going against the rules of public health.

“The targeting has been adjusted to appeal to the citizens of the regions mentioned. That being said, some publications on Bonjour Québec may aim to inspire Quebeckers for future getaways, ”says Director of Communications Virginie Rompré.

Other companies, such as some hardware stores and pharmacies, continue to produce flyers that do not reflect the restriction on the sale of non-essential products in stores.

Like nothing ever happened

This is the case of the Canadian Tire company, which advertises both a sweeper and a stove on the first page of its current edition.

“When you see the flyer, you get the impression that it’s ‘business as usual,’ says Marc D. David. It’s nothing illegal, but it’s a missed opportunity. “

The Canac hardware chain, based in Quebec, has instead decided to temporarily stop any form of print or digital promotion.

“It didn’t make sense for us to invite people to shop when [le gouvernement] asks them to stay at home, ”explains Patrick Bélisle, Marketing Director.

This decision is hailed by Mr. David, who sees it as “a perfect example of corporate social responsibility and responsible marketing communication”.

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