Is the Publicity Bad for KWG Resources?
THUNDER BAY – MINING – KWG Resources has light a publicity firestorm. The company produces a series of videos on mining in Ontario’s Ring of Fire chromite development. The videos have averaged about 3000 views each in the Mining Minute reports. However in Episode 23 the company used the women hosts in their bikini tops and shorts to explain “Five Top Things …” and have soared to 74,000 views.
The video, posted on Youtube has angered many women, and many First Nations women. Activist and lawyer Pam Palmater wrote on her Facebook page that “Sexist mining video from KWG Resources represents all that is sick about the mining industry – sexualizing women to promote mining on Indigenous lands”.
Jennifer Wabano a Northern Ontario Indigenous woman wrote, “The bikini models/props do not speak for me, and many other Indigenous people. They do not speak for the Water Council. Maybe an Indian Act band or two, but most of the time not ALL the people the band represents. The way KWG engaged them to promote the mining, especially when they put words in our mouths by saying “First nations are interested sharing in the resources of ontario’s ring of fire”….I would first have to eat a bucket of maggots before allowing props to make false statements regarding First Nations, especially when promoting mining in such a way. KWG might as well use Trump as a prop too. Matawa and Mushkegowuk are not even on the same page with the Ring of Fire. But as I’ve said before, these mining companies have absolutely no regard for Indigenous people even though they claim to respect First Nations”.
Theresa Longo, the host of “Mining Minute”, says, “Love this publicity we are generating for the #MiningMinute web series! For the record: No one used us as props, or told us to make this 1 minute video. & we weren’t even TRYING to be sexy! It’s just cottage attire”.
The actor and model who states on her Facebook Page that she is a “Brand Ambassador” is taking the line that no publicity can be bad publicity.
For KWG Resources, the company stock is trading at two cents a share. Getting added publicity is likely a goal that means the end justifies the means. However depending on what impact the massive amount of publicity has coming only days after the federal Liberal Government launched the official inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (#MMIW) the impact in both Ontario and at the Canadian Government level along with both Chiefs of Ontario and Nishnawbe Aski Nation might mean over the long term the video’s publicity could harm KWG Resources.
KWG Resources Boss Defends Stand
“Sex sells” – that is how KWG President Frank Smeenk sees it.
The extra 71,000 views that the company’s video has generated might be evidence of that – or it might be that thousands of people simply drove by a train wreck.
Chances are if the anger and frustration expressed by Indigenous women are heard loud and clear by Chiefs in the Ring of Fire area, the mining company might find that all that glitters isn’t gold.
Time will tell.