New SaskTel billboards stir up controversy
'It'll be fine' ads not a comment on privatization debate, Crown says
A SaskTel billboard campaign that says "Deep Breaths. It'll be fine" is not intended to be political commentary, the company says.
Nevertheless, amid some online discussion about the ads, the Crown-owned telecom is taking them down.
Some people on social media were questioning the timing of the ads, given the recent discussion over the potential privatization of SaskTel and other Crown corporations.
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Among those weighing in was former NDP MLA Pat Atkinson, who went on Twitter to say the ads were "totally unacceptable."
The company replied to her tweet saying the ads had been tested in April and had no connection to the privatization debate.
<a href="https://twitter.com/patnutana">@patnutana</a> Development began 8 months ago and the new creative tested positive in April, 2016, and is not tied to privatization.—@SaskTel
Marketing and communications specialist Tammy Robert said it's easy to see why the ads might raise some eyebrows.
"It could be perceived as disrespecting the very real concerns that I think Saskatchewan residents still have over private investment in their Crowns," Robert said.
Some electronic billboards in Saskatoon stopped showing the ad on Monday. The company says the other billboards will come down soon.