Once again, Discovery Channel shows they are not science-based and will even pull unethical stunts to get ratings.
We posted the link in the leftovers of 16-July to the story in Canada’s National Post about a video that purportedly showed a bull shark spotted in Lake Ontario.
The best answer at the time was that it was a porpoise although a bull shark swimming up a freshwater river is NOT unheard of. That’s what made it potentially plausible although experts doubted it.
That story has now been replaced by this piece, announcing it was a hoax by a media company promoting Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is expressing concern about a marketing stunt that had people thinking a shark may be lurking in Lake Ontario.
A YouTube video purporting to show three men surprised by a shark while fishing off a dock was posted a week ago, but it was only on Wednesday that Bell Media revealed it fabricated the video to build hype for the Discovery channel’s upcoming Shark Week programming.
Real or not, the video had some in Wolfe Island, Ont., afraid of swimming and also prompted Ontario Minister of Natural Resources Bill Mauro to warn that people should stay safe and report any sightings of the animal.
Actually, some people still doubt it was a hoax. They suggest it is real and the “hoax” story is a coverup to preserve the tourism inflow. Bell Media put out a press release with the announcement after noticing how many took this as real. (Duh! WASN’T THAT THE GOAL?)
Discovery wants to quell the concerns of Canadians everywhere and reveal that the widely-circulated video of a shark swimming in Lake Ontario is, in fact, not a real shark. The video of the incredibly life-like prosthetic model shark is the first stage of a multi-level marketing campaign tied to the channel’s iconic summer event, SHARK WEEK.
Discovery, YOU SUCK.
The deliberate misinformation caused actual panic. How low can you go to erode all trust in your programming? First the Mermaids and Megalodon where you manufactured footage and suggested it was real? Now you put out a public scare?
This ill-conceived campaign was developed for Nissan by Bell Media’s Brand Partnership team and in collaboration with Nissan’s marketing partners, OMD and TBWA. (Note: This is not the first time Nissan and TBWA have gotten into hot water due to deceptive advertising.)
Dubbed “In Search of Canada’s Rogue Shark,” it covers the rugged Canadian terrain – in a Nissan Rogue, of course — from the Pacific to the Atlantic, from the Bay of Fundy to the St. Lawrence – and even the Great Lakes – to understand these amazing fish and create awareness for the Canadian shark population…if it does indeed exist here.
As far as we know, this is more nonsense speculation. There is no evidence to support it. Also notice the press release is light on apology, heavy on promotion.
Check out this piece on Science Sushi on how Discovery and Shark Week have degraded in quality over the years to the point of being ridiculous:
Though Discovery might think the publicity was worth a little distress, feelings of fear and anxiety are real harm to the community that felt them, says Stemwedel, and says a lot about the kind of relationship Discovery has with its viewership. “They didn’t just lie about the shark, but also about how much their viewers could trust them.”
So why would they create such a video in the first place? University of Miami shark scientist David Shiffman has an answer. “Shark Week seems to believe that real stories about real animals aren’t enough to get the public’s attention, so they lied,” he said. “I wish this surprised me.”
Not only does Discovery fail to provide factual information, they are bent on inserting harmful MISINFORMATION into the mainstream, actually sabotaging the initial intent of shark week programming – to inform and help reduce the stigma around sharks.
Many no longer watch the Discovery Network Channels – Discovery (and the like), Science Channel, Animal Planet. If you won’t either, tell them. Many scientists are speaking out that they will refuse to work with the network.
Nature is not a joke but Discovery Channels are.
UPDATE (24-Jul-2014) HAVE YOU SEEN THE SHIT DISCOVERY CHANNEL IS PROMOTING FOR SHARK WEEK?
- Lair of the Mega Shark
- Zombie Sharks
- Alien Sharks: Return to the Abyss
- Monster Hammerhead
- Spawn of Jaws 2: The Birth
- Great White Matrix
- Air Jaws: Fins of Fury
- Jaws Strikes Back
- I Escaped Jaws 2
- Shark of Darkness: Submarine Returns
- Megalodon: The New Evidence
It’s like a horror movie extravaganza!!! Actually, the titles are what is mostly effed up since the descriptions sound like they have actual researchers trying to do some work. I wonder who these experts are now that many have said they won’t work with Discovery. Also, new evidence for Megalodon? You didn’t have old evidence. The “evidence” was manufactured last time.
Boycott shark week. Shark experts are.
UPDATE: (10-Aug-2014) ANOTHER ONE? Wildlife Extra News – Great white shark spotted in north London boating lake. Man, they just can’t get anymore low class and stupid.
Can Discovery redeem themselves or are they happy to be considered crud in the ocean of television these days?