Bikini-clad Ring of Fire video blasted as ‘archaic’ (Postmedia Network – August 11, 2016)

TORONTO — Sex sells, apparently even to promote mining in the north. A new promo video featuring women in bikinis extolling the virtues of the Ring of Fire mining area in Northern Ontario is raising some eyebrows.

In the video, entitled “5 Interesting ‘Ring of Fire’ Facts,” one of the women, Theresa Longo, stands on a dock in a crop-top and tiny cutoffs. She notes the comparisons between Alberta’s oilsands and the Ring of Fire — about 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont., that holds one of the world’s richest chromite deposits as well as nickel, copper and platinum.

A second woman, Ashley, sits on a lakeside swing in a bikini top and Daisy Dukes to let viewers know First Nations are “interested in sharing in the resources.”

The video is part of a Mining Minute series on mining company KWG Resources’ YouTube channel and is in contrast to the two dozen other videos that mostly feature Longo talking in an office setting.

The video has been torn apart by online commenters who call it “archaic and humiliating” among other things.

But it’s working, says KWG Resources CEO Frank Smeenk.

“Attractive women attract eyes,” he said in an interview. “The ones that include me aren’t nearly as watched as the ones that don’t. I guess I’m not as easy on the eyes, I suppose.”

Longo said the skimpy clothing wasn’t on purpose — she filmed while on vacation at a cottage in Haliburton, Ont.

“We really tried to just have fun at the cottage,” Longo said.

“It was innocent in the fact that we really weren’t trying to use ourselves as props … I can’t speak for Frank Smeenk saying that sex sells, that’s one thing, but I can assure you that in this instance we didn’t see it that way.”

Either way, it seems to be working.

Other videos in the series have between 100-600 views. So far, the bikini romp has attracted almost 12,000 hits on YouTube.

And viewers are learning something. “This is awesome. I never cared about mining until now.,” one commenter posted.

— The Canadian Press and Postmedia Network

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