Loto-Québec has pulled its ‘Heat Record’ scratch card from store shelves almost immediately after release, after it was referred to as insensitive.
On Tuesday, the lottery ticket, “Record de Chaleur” was removed from the marketplace only a day after being issued, following a number of complaints.
Marketed as, ‘the hotter the day the bigger the prize,’ the one-off ticket rewards players based on scorching temperatures .
The provincially-run lottery received backlash from the public over the scratch card, pointing to the deadly and devastating fires in Western Canada.
There are currently 307 active fires burning in the province of British Columbia, with the most in the Kamloops area.
In response, Loto-Québec said the the Heat Record concept was developed several months ago, in the fall of 2020.
Spokesperson Renaud Dugas said the product was to simply make a fun summer experience ahead of the construction holiday.
“Loto-Québec markets around 50 one-off tickets per year, several of which are in partnership with Quebec companies,” Dugas said.
The scratch card, according to Dugas, was one of those special event tickets and was only going to be on sale for a few weeks.
“We understand the sensitivity, even though that wasn’t the spirit in which the post was designed at all,” Dugas said.
This falls short of a marketing gaffe or blunder, said Harold Simpkins, marketing professor at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business.
“Kudos to them for reacting so quickly. They didn’t have to, too,” Simpkins aid.
Considering the significant costs surrounding the canceling of the ticket, Simpkins says Loto-Québec should be commended for their speedy response.
Simpkins says it was impossible for Loto-Québec, to have foreseen such deadly fires.
He adds much thought will go into any other weather-related gambling products in the future.
“Once bitten twice shy. I don’t think they will come back with anything related to weather given their experience this year,” Simpkins said.