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Imagine my surprise when I turned on the radio on Monday for a little musical distraction while painting our house and I heard a quick between-the-songs promo for a local radio station.

Err…did I hear that right?

Sure enough, a trip outside to run some errands confirmed what I thought I’d heard. There it was, clear as day on a bus stop advertisement: Ho 89.9.

Seriously, Hot 89.9? Seriously?

I knew right away it must have been part of some ridiculous stunt/shock advertising campaign. They’ve done it before: in the spring of 2009 they partnered with Strathmere for a “Married in 24 Hours” contest where the winner received a quickie wedding complete with wedding bands, a dress, a bouquet and boutonnière, and a ceremony and reception at Strathmere. Sanctity of the institution of marriage be damned! (On a personal note, when Joe and I chose Strathmere for our wedding in 2008 we thought it was a lovely and charming location and had no idea that they would just a year later stoop to this level of offensive marketing…believe me, I would not have gotten married there had I known that was coming!)

Back to the current situation. I have to say that I am unimpressed with this new campaign and underwhelmed by their “creativity”. And I’m not the only one as a recent editorial in The Ottawa Citizen so clearly expresses.

It’s not like the brilliant minds at Hot 89.9 didn’t think it through – this was a well-organized campaign. All the radio spots, the bus ads, and a new domain name for their website, which I imagine they had to purchase from a porn purveyor.

They say that there is no such thing as “bad press”, and this stunt has certainly got people talking. But I can’t imagine that it’s the smartest business move to identify yourself as Ottawa’s trashiest radio station. And what about your listeners, Hot 89.9? You used to call them “Hotties”, which was lame and condescending enough. But now, will you be referring to them as your “Hos”?

At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised.

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My name is Sonya. I live with my husband and our cat in the suburbs of Ottawa. I started this journal to document my thoughts and experiences and share them with friends, family and anyone else who happens to pass this way. My hope is that it will help to keep me focused on the simple things I value most in life and, above all, keep me writing.

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