March 12, 2010
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What a royal rip-off of tax payers' dollars ! How ridiculous and irresponsible can government be and still be our government ? I still remember the waste of thousands of dollars over a logo for Montreal. See details below.
The Gazette October 29 reports "The Montreal Metropolitan Community has come up with a new logo to "brand" the region.... So far, the council has spent $487,000 on the logo, with another $200,000 budgeted to come up with a plan to promote it."
The older I get, the more I feel despair for the human race. Do we never learn? Montreal's current logo cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars won by the so-called artist who won a competition for the best design, even though that exact symbol had been used for many years as a decorative trim for columns in The National Enquirer and was still in use in The National Enquirer at the time Montreal bought it. ( I was selling newspapers at the time and saw that emblem in The National Enquirer all the time.)
I reported this fact to the media and the authorities at the time the logo was first shown to the public.(1981). All they had to do was open a copy of The National Enquirer and see for themselves. But I was ignored. Not surprising: After all, the money had been spent with a big splash of publicity, and I am sure the City did not want the embarrassing truth exposed.
All these years later, it appears that the City of Montreal once again has been wasting huge amounts of taxpayers' money. At a time when there are people losing their homes and their jobs, do we need to squander money on more silly symbols? More pomp, less bread.
Quebec's mayor sacks French marketing whiz for being 'a failure'
Clotaire Rapaille is 'a star in U.S., but a failure here,' mayor says
QUEBEC – Citing a "breach of trust" because of inaccuracies in the curriculum vitae of Clotaire Rapaille, an angry Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume announced Monday the termination of the city's contract with the French-born marketing guru.
"He's a star in the United States. He was a failure here," the mayor told reporters.
"It didn't work. It was a failure. We are sorry," Labeaume added, answering reporters' questions brusquely at times.
"We won't do that. We are in business. We are managers. That's all. We won't bleed, that's all."
The mayor explained that in a telephone conference Monday, Rapaille agreed the arrangement was no longer working.
He has been paid $125,000 so far and the two sides will negotiate a final settlement. The city gets to keep the findings of focus groups consulted.
The mayor hired Rapaille to rebrand the city, finding a "code" to draw more young people. Quebec City has full employment and wants to attract more skilled workers.
Labeaume said he was not upset when Rapaille called city residents "totally neurotic" and sado-masochistic.
It was claims about himself that proved to be problematic, including about his war record.
The Quebec City daily Le Soleil checked his claims and found discrepancies.
In his first meeting with Quebec City reporters in February, Rapaille said his attachment to the province dates back to his wartime years in France.
His father and grandfather were taken away by the Nazis, he recalled, and he listened to the records of Quebec singer Felix Leclerc, who became his spiritual father.
But Rapaille was only four in 1945 when the war ended and Leclerc only became known in France after 1950.
He has given varying accounts of the Liberation of France in 1944, when he was three, telling different interviewers that he rode an American tank in Normandy.
In another version, he got his first taste of chocolate – which he still remembers – from a American G.I., as U.S. soldiers were known in the Second World War.
In an alternate version, a G.I. gave him his first taste of chewing gum.
And in a third version, Rapaille dedicated his 2006 book Culture Codes "to that G.I., leaning from his tank, who gave me chocolate and chewing gum two weeks after the invasion."
Trouble is, Rapaille also admits that at the time he was living in Paris, which was liberated onl two months later.
Rapaille claims a doctorate in "medical anthropology." He told Le Soleil in fact, his doctorate is in psychology, but his thesis dealt with anthropology as well, so he simplified the account for his main audience in the United States.
"With the Americans, you have to simplify everything," he explained.
A naturalized American, Rapaille lives in Tuxedo Park, north of New York City, and his usual clients include the major Canadian banks.
Most of Rapaille's work has been for corporations selling consumer products, such as Procter & Gamble, Kraft and Kellogg.
Quebec's psychic profile: A sadomasochist with a reptilian core
Marketing guru collects $300,000 to unlock city's 'code' and help give it a fresh image. Quebeckers are neurotic, he says
Quebec City — Published on Thursday, Mar. 11, 2010 4:52AM EST Last updated on Friday, Mar. 12, 2010 6:39AM EST
The marketing guru whom Quebec City is paying $300,000 to help with its image makeover has given an early report: Quebeckers, he says, are "completely neurotic" and their "sadomasochist" relationship with "the English" means they will never separate from Canada.
Clotaire Rapaille, the New York-based market-research expert many Fortune 500 companies turn to for advice, has spent the past few months collecting information to help him unlock the code to Quebec City's collective psyche as part of a contract awarded by the city. Mayor Régis Labeaume wants the city to undergo an image makeover he said it needs to give the city a more modern feel after the huge success of its 400th anniversary celebrations in 2008. Mr. Rapaille told a group of communications and marketing specialists Wednesday that "Quebeckers are emotional.
"Now don't get angry when I tell you that you are completely neurotic," he said in his presentation."You are like a sadomasochist couple. The sadist needs the masochist and the masochist needs the sadist. … These types of couples last an eternity, they are the best couples, the most stable. You are with the English a sadomasochist couple and you will be that way forever."Quebeckers' emotional impulses toward the rest of Canada are part of what Mr. Rapaille calls their "primal reptilian core," which he says constitutes the "code" that lies deep in people's subconscious.
Unravelling that code is, he says, the key to determining how consumers behave toward products. Mr. Rapaille wants to determine how Quebec City residents relate to their city in the same way he helped Dubai and Singapore discover their own particular "code." He has spent the past few months collecting information as part of a $300,000 contract awarded by the city. What Mr. Rapaille has found so far is that residents are passionate about their city, their surroundings, and their sense of belonging.
Yet at the same time they listen heavily to the "destructive" forces generated by the city's popular "trash" talk radio. "You have a strong emotional side and yet a strong critical side that we find in trash radios, a sense of repression and inability to succeed," Mr. Rapaille said in underscoring the contradictions that characterize the city's residents. "You have this balance between the two that we will need to use with parsimony."
He has conducted eight focus groups with 350 residents where participants were invited to "escape" from the cortex portion of the brain that, according to Mr. Rapaille, controls "reason" and slip into their "emotional" side to eventually fall into the "reptilian" mode, or their most primal senses. Canadians, he said, tend to dwell in their "rational" mode, Americans "reptilian" and Quebeckers "emotional." "You are the dimension that is missing in North America and that is very important," he said.
"You are an historic aberration. You didn't have a chance to survive, yet you did. You are role model for the world.…All small cultures in the world can use you as a model." Mr. Rapaille said his work is not complete but should be ready in the spring, just in time for Mr. Labeaume to prepare his campaign to rebrand his city. Mr. Rapaille responded to complaints that his work in other cities was inaccessible, saying it can cost as much as $135,000 to get information contained in the studies he has already done. "I did the codes of these cities for various companies who paid for my work.…I cannot divulge information for which they paid," Mr. Rapaille explained to reporters at a news conference.