Well, that about wraps it up for Oily


UPDATE – Wells has the details of the contract – which does exist, although it is between the Conservatives and Retail Media Inc., Fuelcast and Retail Media Inc., which, presumably, would have bought the ads on behalf of its client, and which apparently was informed by Fuelcast this morning that the network doesn’t run political ads.

In a curious confluence of events, it was Retail Media Inc. that disassociated itself from certain receipts that the Conservative Party claimed had been submitted for regional ad buys.

From the Globe and Mail:

For instance, one invoice in the amount of $39,999.91, filed on behalf of Steve Halicki, candidate for the Ontario riding of York South-Weston, was on Retail Media letterhead, the affidavit states.

When executives with the company were shown the invoice, one said “the invoice must have been altered or created by someone, because it did not conform to the appearance of invoices sent by Retail Media to the Conservative Party of Canada with respect to the media buy,” the affidavit states.

Will Oily be freed from the bonds of video screen advertising, to live out the rest of his days as a virtual spokesblob on the campaign website? Or will the Conservatives force Fuelcast to air party ads against its will? Tune in tomorrow! Or possibly later tonight.

From the latest CTV update:

[…]Fuelcast, the company that operates the ad system, said Monday it won’t run the Conservative ads at the pumps because it has a policy against political advertising.

So — how ’bout those radio ads? Anyone heard one of those? Please tell me some part of this campaign will involve exchanging currency for broadcasting services, rather than relying entirely on freebie airings in the guise of news coverage?

UPDATE: Or does it?

Via Canadian Press (link to come):

Novel Tory attack ads against Stephane Dion’s carbon tax may
never be seen by Canadian drivers as they fill up their gas tanks.

The Tories unveiled the so-called `fuelcast’ ads Sunday, which were
supposed to start airing on video screens set up at gas pumps in and
around Toronto.

But Fuelcast Network – the only company in the gas pump TV business in
Canada – says it has a policy against broadcasting political ads.

However, Tory spokesman Ryan Sparrow says the party has a binding
agreement with Fuelcast to show the ads and expects the contract to be

Would this be the same sort of binding agreement that, just a few hours ago, he claimed was the subject of a misquote by CanWest News?


Well, that about wraps it up for Oily

  1. My guess is there there will be a real radio campaign, but it mostly be confined to Ottawa’s CFRA.

    This will give MPs and media the erroneous impression that the much-reported ad campaign is real while funelling a bit of cash to a Harper-friendly radio station.

  2. Given the amount of free advertising the Reformed Conservatives received today from media sources and the blogosphere, Harper has no need to actually spend any cash. Given the right wing slant of the majority (over 67%) of mainstream media in Canada now, we can expect to see this free advertising extended into the Letters to the Editors and op-ed pieces for another week.

    I wish journalists would actually tell me what is going on in Ottawa, not a preview of a nasty ad campaign. I am intelligent enough, all by myself, to figure out that the Reformed Conservatives advertisement is a bully tactic without being warned a hundred times, in advance of approaching a gas pump.

    Since the media seems only capable of putting attention on misery and negative gamesmanship, is it any wonder that the politicians follow that shining beacon? Lawrence Martin pointing the finger at the Liberals for lowering the bar raises the question: how do you expect them to get attention?

    In my opinion, Canadians are now far ahead of their politicians and their media and can hardly wait for y’all to just shut up and let us vote. Speaking for myself, the only trepidation is that we have to steel ourselves for a campaign by the media and the politicians to tell us what we should be thinking prior to the day when we get our chance to tell y’all what we are thinking. Strange way to carry on a conversation.

  3. Maybe someone should ask Ran if the company refuses to comply with this so-called binding agreement whether they will sue them over it – since they appear to be a litigious lot.

  4. Where’s my copy of Flanagans book? As this is brilliant how to adverise without advertising very zen or possibly taoist.

  5. Whooee! Sparrow sez: Big Oil’s gonna hafta take the Cons’ money, whether they like it or not. A deal is a deal is a deal.

    Say… didn’t Canada sign some sorta contract over in Kyoto wrt GHG’s?


  6. Wasn’t Sparrow begging off having a contract with fuelcast?

  7. Unless the party prepaid for the ads and Fuelcast refuses to refund their payment, there is no basis for legitimate litigation.

  8. Meh, it seems to me that Fuelcast didn’t pay much attention to who was buying ad space, and Ryan did a knee-jerk retraction before confirming that the conservatives actually had bought the advertising.

    Which basically boils down to incompentence both in the government, and in the free-market drones they hire.

  9. I am convinced the threatened Liberal boycott of GTA gas stations convinced Fuelcast to duck and cover on this one. I have no real evidence for that. Nevertheless, I am convinced.

  10. Retail Media Inc.? Wasn’t their name mentioned with some sort of “in and out” thingy?

  11. Yup.


    “According to a letter sent to Elections Canada by Conservative Chief Financial Officer Ann O’Grady, 68 Conservative candidate campaigns chose to participate in this program to buy regional advertising, The party’s Toronto-based media buyer, Retail Media Inc., bought $1.2 million in regional radio and TV advertising for these candidates, she said.”

  12. Kady- I heard a radio ad. Did you know that Dion is not a leader? Shocking.

  13. One might have thought Retail Media would think twice about dealing with the Conservatives after they made up individual invoices in the in and out scheme to look like they were coming directly from Retail Media, but I guess money speaks.

  14. At first I thought oily was a Conservative cumshot and the message was: we *really* enjoy getting paid to destroy Earth.

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