Sun | Sep 20, 2020

Lame response from Market Me!

Published:Wednesday | July 29, 2020 | 12:14 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

For a firm that specialises in public relations and marketing, the response from Market Me, the firm embroiled in a scandal with Government, was quite lame. First of all, no one suggested that the directors were public servants, so how absurd to deny this in their statement to the public. What they didn’t say was if any of the directors were involved or, as some would suggest, ‘entangled’, with a high-level public servant in a ministry from which they received millions of dollars in contracts!

It is also mind-boggling that a marketing firm would conceptualise the ‘Jamaica Moves’ health initiative without any form of contact from someone directly involved in the health sector. Then they tried to confuse the issue by suggesting that they sought funding for the initiative from the private sector as well. This was another lame response, but nice try, though!

What is also confusing is that the firm acknowledges it still owns the ‘Jamaica Moves’ brand, despite being paid more than $55 million in contracts from public funds!

The statement went on to assert that there was no conflict of interest. Of course not, one could argue, if the director who sat on the National Health Fund board resigned one week before the contract was signed – timing is everything, especially in public relations!

QUITE MESSY

The Market Me saga is quite messy and Dr Carolyn Cooper summed it up well in her Sunday Gleaner column (26/7/2020), ‘Jamaica Moves to the tune of $55 million!’

I refuse to believe that most Jamaicans don’t care about corruption, as the pollsters suggest. The media, and The Gleaner in particular, should be commended for its investigative journalism in these matters. The waste of public funds in government due to scandal is alarming! Why should the health ministry spend so much of its limited resources on public relations, including sectoral debates, when the funds could be better spent in hospitals and healthcare facilities?

Despite its efforts, the Government is literally falling apart due to scandals and its lax response!

P. CHIN