Don’t Say It If You Don’t Mean It

From Random Notions’ Business At The Speed Of Stupid file.

During the 2007 Juno Awards in Saskatoon, a CTV producer approached a couple in their seats, Steve Ryde and Vanessa Thomas, and asked if they’d like to watch the show from a convertible Pontiac Solstice near the stage. Pontiac was one of the broadcast sponsors of the show, so it made sense they’d have a car on display. But it seems a bit odd they’d ask anyone to sit in it. Usually, when an auto manufacturer has a car on display at an event like this, it’s locked tight and bystanders aren’t even allowed to touch it.

Then music producer and Canadian Idol judge Farly Flex read out the couple’s seat numbers and announced that they had won the car. Elated, Ryde and Thomas, cheered on by the other audience members in their section, moved down to sit in their new car.

Only, it wasn’t their new car. Juno producer John Brunton says there was a miscommunication and Flex was supposed to announce that the couple had won the right to sit in the car during the show. How generous, especially considering it afforded a poor vantage point from which to see the stage. According to Ryde, “You almost had to stand on the seats to see anything.”

Part way through the show, another CTV producer approached Ryde and Thomas in the car and explained the mistake. Oh, and by the way, please don’t leave the car in case the television cameras are on it. We want you to smile and wave.

Ryde says he was “embarrassed and humiliated by the incident.” Although the Juno producers and CTV have privately apologized to the couple and offered them a car for a year, Ryde and Thomas have said they’ll take the matter to court.

Whatever the legal outcome, the lesson is clear: Don’t say it if you don’t mean it.