Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Jann versus Via: Doggygate!

To: The leadership team, Via Rail
From: Pierre Poutine, Toryland Communications
Re: Doggygate

Hello all:

I am pleased to submit a crisis communications strategy to deal with the blowback concerning Jann Arden and her spiteful little dog. (Further referred to as Doggygate)

As you know Jann Arden is a superstar in Canada, having sold more than a dozen CDs over her time charting the Adult Contemporary genre of Galaxie. She is well known as a lippy whipper-snapper so it was no surprise that, when she was tossed off the train "in the middle of nowhere", she immediately took to Twitter to tear Via Rail executives a new one.

There is no excuse for Ms. Arden not knowing the rules. If she had checked the website, it would have stated, categorically, that pets are not allowed in Via One. No exceptions.

This isn't France!

Anyway, that said, she has managed to do serious damage to Via's already sketchy reputation as the "no breaks" carrier. We will need to do some damage control therefore to ensure that Jann's million fans continue to support the national railway.

I would suggest a subtle smear campaign questioning the singer's allegiance to Stephen Harper and Canada, but I don't think that would work. I mean, how many singing stars still take the train?

And the marshals didn't need to restrain or taser either her or her dog.

Like all good Canadians, she decided to follow the rules and bitch about it later.

And let's face it, she has a point.

Oshawa is in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing more unnerving for anyone -- I'm speaking from personal experience here -- than to have their car breakdown on the 401 in Oshawa.

It's the Black Hole. The middle of the GTA Triangle.

There is nothing going on in Oshawa.

Except Home Depot. There is a Home Depot.

And a Timmy's.

At least in Belleville, you can get a decent slice of apple pie.

Question: Didn't anyone notice in Toronto, in the VIP lounge, that she was feeding snacks to a canine? What did the porters think she had in the dog bag, a small child?

Recommendation: From here on, porters should be given strict instructions to check the baggage, just in case there is a bomb or a dog in the carryon. As an added measure to help people with allergies, they should hose down any passenger wearing Chanel Number Five or other fragrances.

While they're at it why not go a step further and confiscate all media devices including cellphones so as not to annoy the rest of us. I speak again from personal experience!

Well, it's all doggydo under the track now.

We need to consider some action.

We can't have Jann getting that uppity Anne Murray involved.

Here are two surefire crisis communications suggestions:

- Offer a free ticket for Ms. Arden and her pooch and let her ride up with the engineers. Clearly the engineers don't do anything anyway. They could all sit around and listen to Jann play the guitar and talk about how insensitive Via Rail is.

That would really get the 'verse twittering!


- Change the rules and designate a special club car for celebrities with pets and all passengers with children under the age of eight.

Problem solved.

Invoice: $10,500. Pay immediately to P.O. Box 12, Joliette, PQ.

You're welcome.

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