July 17, 2014 12:26 pm

Wynne concerned by PR stunts like fake Lake Ontario shark

A frame from a videoshows what the posters claimed was a shark near Kingston, Ont, posted to YouTube on July 10, 2014.


TORONTO – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is expressing concern about a marketing stunt that had people thinking a shark may be lurking in Lake Ontario.

A YouTube video purporting to show three men surprised by a shark while fishing off a dock was posted a week ago, but it was only on Wednesday that it was revealed to be a hoax.

Discovery Canada, which is owned by broadcasting giant Bell Media, said it was a fake shark and part of their marketing campaign to promote an upcoming series on the creatures.

Wynne says she can’t comment on the tactic the company used, but says people who produce ads and promote them need to use common sense when they try to entice or frighten people.

She says everyone needs to recognize that people can get scared by what they’re seeing and they need to quickly be able to understand what’s really going on.

The premier says the turnaround needs to be quick enough so people don’t actually become terrified.

Some local residents on Wolfe Island, where the video was supposed to have been filmed, said the video had frightened them.

Upon learning the video was a fake, Wolfe Island Mayor Denis Doyle said it was rather concerning that people “do those kinds of such dumb things.”

Those behind the fake video said they decided to come clean after seeing the frenzy of speculation sparked by the clip.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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