"Because last we checked, there was no such thing as the Canadian Dream."

In the lexicon of today:

"Ohhh, that's SOOO TWOO!"

"LOL!  ROTFLMAO!"

Hot Tomali Communications Inc., a Vancouver-based ad company, came up this gem of an idea to pitch getting a Green Card for Canadians to work legally in the States.

This creative little concept was the result of intensive brainstorming by Hot Tomali's Thomas Stringham, (President and Creative Director) and Sebastien Wilcox (Copywriter)... both are Canadian with the former being from Winnipeg and the latter, Québec.   This dynamic duo should avoid this type of storm at any cost.

Hot Tomali's website has a 'Press Release' (Big Time Businesses have 'Press Releases'... very important, doncha know?) which goes on to say, 

"...In today's world you can't even refer to a country's national pride, or lack thereof, without evoking hostilities!" comments Thomas Stringham."

Translation: 

"Lighten up, morons.  WE thought it was funny."

Response from one PROUD Canadian:

"We're not laughing."

Now, never let it be said Canadians can't take good-natured ribbing or even have a laugh at themselves.  We tend to be a self-deprecating lot and are quite used to comparisons to the loud and often obnoxious southern neighbours.   Lately though, it seems they've been grabbing spotlights, microphones and karaoke machines to announce their presence in the international community.  Frankly, they're already plenty loud enough  - crowing how their country is superiour - without resorting to any added amplification or publicity.

We all know how the entire world sits wistfully on the sidelines just begging for a chance to move to the States... the Americans tell us so repeatedly.

Fact is: much of the Rest of the World not only doesn't give a rat's patooty about moving to the States, they wish the U.S. spinmeisters would shut up and sit down.

And when a CANADIAN ad agency chimes in with trite ditties implying there's "no such thing as the Canadian Dream", they'd better be prepared to (1) take a substantial amount of heat and (2) watch their bottom line plunge to the basement by PROUD Canadians who fail to see the humour in denigrating and offending Canadians.

Thomas Stringham certainly achieved more notoriety than publicity from this banal effort and it's easy enough to call for boycotting their clients such as Telus, myAutomotive.ca or Escape Restaurant.  He made his choice and now his intended audience will make theirs.

All 'bout the money, eh Thomas?  That may be YOUR Idea of a 'dream' society but there are other standards of success which Canadians use to gauge what constitutes a 'dream' country.  A society is not measured by how well its MOST advantaged citizens are treated, but by how well its LEAST advantaged citizens are treated.  And when using THAT metre stick, Canada comes ahead of the States kilometres ahead.

"Lighten up"?  "It's a joke"?

Let's see who's laughing after the dust settles, shall we? 

"In today's world" the consumer has more choices and is more educated than ever before.  "In today's world" Canadians are more patriotic and more aware of their position within the international community than ever before.  "In today's world" more world citizens are both keen and critical of the many shortcomings of life in the States than ever before.

The overwhelming majority of Canadians aren't pining away and wringing their hands in despair over not being able to work and live in the States.  Believe it.

In short, Mr. Stringham, you totally missed your mark in your audience.  And for someone whose business is ostensibly being in close contact with public sentiment and trends... that's not a good thing.   The public is offended and disgusted by not only the ad copy itself but by your flip response to the furor.

'Lead, follow or get out of the way'? 

Well, Hot Tomali Communications certainly hasn't demonstrated leadership qualities; leadership implies thoughtful, careful consideration of actions and the consequences of such.  

'Follow'?  Well, considering the amount of negativity these ads generated it doesn't appear a popular chord was struck.  Good advertising either wins praise or indifference... not condemnation.  Good advertising should appeal to the masses, not be divisive and polarize.

That leaves "Get out of the way". 

Perhaps Mssrs. Stringham and Wilcox would find a less hostile audience in some community several hundred kilometers south of Vancouver.  That country seems to find more humour in putting down Canada and Canadians than their northern neighbours.

No "Canadian Dream"?  One would have to have an imaginative capacity to have a dream.

And clearly from the tenor of the Green Card ads, that's a talent that Hot Tomali Communications lacks.

Mr. Stringham, the last time you "checked" there was no such thing as "the Canadian Dream"?

Better check again, corporate puppet.

Plenty of us are quite happily living The Canadian Dream.   

 Hot Tomali's Green Card Ads Hot Tomali Communications' 'Press Release' on the 'furor' behind the ads
Hot Tomali Communications' Website homepage Write Thomas Stringham and inform him the "Canadian Dream" is alive and thriving.