Former MAC Marketing manager Nicolas Hans Jensen has been fined and suspended by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia for using two employees to act as potential buyers.
The controversial marketing stunt received much attention as it misled CBC and CTV during an interview on the potential impact that Chinese New Year might have on sales activity.
The story first aired on February 14, 2013 and within days, social media and blogs outed the two individuals as not sisters from China who were interested in purchasing real estate but rather employees of MAC Marketing.
According to the consent order issued last month, “He observed that four hostesses were sitting at the front desk. He asked two of the four brokerage employees to take off their name tags, change their clothes as much as they were able and to act as pedestrian traffic behind the site model in the centre while the interview was being conducted.”
But while the intention was to only use them as props, both women were also interviewed by CBC and CTV and decidedly answered questions as if they were international buyers.
Jensen resigned from MAC Marketing on February 18, 2013. In the consent order issued in May 2014, he was given a 14-day suspension, ordered to pay a $1,250 fine, and is required to register for and complete the Real Estate Trading Services Remedial Education Course at the UBC Sauder School of Business with his own money.
Featured Image: CTV