The Mayor tries to remember FD Element, who have been working for him for years
Wednesday night's TV schedule was spiced up by the opening story on GlobalTV News. Reporter Marisa Thomas in another crack piece of journalism uncovered a no-bid contract handed to key Vision Vancouver insiders FD Element, a company whose Vancouver office is run by Don Millar and Mike Wilson. Both Millar and Wilson have been working with Gregor Robertson's office and with the Vision Vancouver party doing media strategy and image management for the hapless Mayor.
Not long ago we reported how Don Millar's name was on the registration for "mayorofvancouver.ca" – the address of Gregor Robertson's blog. That is until CityCaucus.com conducted a freedom of information request on who was the domain registrant. It was then that FD Element turned the domain over to the City of Vancouver.
Then we saw that FD Element were prominently featured on the guest lists of private parties held during the Olympics at the disastrous Vancouver House pavilion. We now know that part of the FD Element crowd that were gnoshing were actually a three-person video crew tasked with following Gregor Robertson's every move during the 2010 Games.
Now, as we've indicated earlier, Gregor Robertson was invisible and virtually non-existent before and during the 2010 Games. The Mayor didn't feel the need to boost the Games (choosing to show up at NO 2010 protests instead), and as a result the media (both local and international) for the most part ignored Robertson. Sure, he made a few appearances here and there, but most were asking where the guy was.
Well, since he couldn't earn any of the spotlight someone figured out that we should use tax dollars to promote Gregor. Remember those annoying "enjoy the free events" radio ads featuring Gregor's voice? Well, they did one better, and spent a ton of money on videos almost no one watched.
While Marisa Thomas was led to believe by the City that the videos had been watched by over 14,000 viewers, the City's YouTube channel indicates that most of the 21 videos have been watched at the most a few hundred times, and only three crack 1,000 views.
FD Element says they hoped the videos got to show off Vancouver for the world, but what they really did was let a few hundred Vision Vancouver supporters root on Gregor Robertson. For fifty thousand bucks that's pretty pathetic, especially when we can think of much better uses for that kind of taxpayer dosh.
Note, it's been pointed out that several elected leaders including BC's Premier use similar marketing tactics. We don't know if in those other instances that it's such a bald-faced gift to a political supporter.
- post by Mike