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OTTAWA -- Aimed at 16-year-old boys, a new slush-drink flavor at Mac's Convenience Stores was being promoted with a video featuring 19 short clips produced online by the company, the Vancouver Province reported. However, the company pulled nine of the videos after consumers and employees complained.
"People were not comfortable with some of the contents, so we were sensitive to that," said Mac marketing manager Russ Sunderji in the report.
In the video, two women in lingerie walk through a field and stop at a tree, touching each other suggestively before kissing, the report stated. The tree starts talking and tries to seduce the women, and one yells, "Perv!" The women start chopping the tree with axes and an orange-colored liquid starts pouring out from the tree cracks.
The campaign, known as viral marketing, uses existing social networks -- such as YouTube and blogs -- to spread its message, reported the Vancouver Province.
The target audience responded well to the ads, Sunderji said.
"At 16, nothing is too raw or edgy. If you look at pop culture today, from music videos to video games, this is the world they live in," he explained in the report. "We needed an aggressive campaign that spoke to them in their language."
Even though Mac's has stopped sponsoring the nine videos, some have been reposted online. "It's the nature of the online world," said Sunderji in the report. "It's a risk you take when you use the medium. You have no control over what people do with your ads," he noted, adding that the company can't tell others to take down their videos.
In other Couche-Tard news, the company renewed its 10-year partnership with the Desjardins Group, as the supplier of its payment solutions for debit and credit services.
Alimentation Couche-Tard renewed its agreement for services in Quebec, but also expanded it across Canada into the areas served by the company under the Mac's banner as exclusive supplier for the processing of point-of-sale transactions, the company reported.
Furthermore, Couche-Tard also selected Cognos' 8 Controller for complete reporting in its Eastern Canada Division, the company reported. The Cognos solution will be used to produce market reviews and financial statements for internal reporting on profitability, and income tax returns on the many entities within that division.
"The main value we saw in selecting Cognos 8 Controller is that it will be faster and more flexible than our existing solution," said Robert Mathieu, director of finance for Couche-Tard Eastern Canada Division. "We will use Cognos 8 Controller to do all of our internal reporting, preparing financial statements for income tax returns for the many companies within the group and for official corporate statements."