Viral vixens court Ring of Fire [KWG Resources] junior miner controversy – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 12, 2016)

KWG Resources president Frank Smeenk makes no apologies to the social media reaction from a spicy company-sponsored promotional video featuring two bikini-wearing women hawking the virtues of the Ring of Fire.

“I guess I’m kind of tickled. It proves the old adage there’s no bad news, especially if you’re a junior mining company looking for a means of educating the public on the value proposition.”

Whether viewers were absorbing the ‘5 Interesting Ring of Fire Facts’ is matter of ongoing web debate judging by the uproar from critics who view the video, and its use of kitschy sexual innuendo, as an objectification of women.

The video features two models, Theresa Longo and Ashley Nicole, both former Sunshine Girls, promoting the mineral and economic potential of the Far North deposits while lounging at a lakeside cottage.

Longo, an aspiring actress and fashion model, is a KWG shareholder and the company’s new strategic marketing consultant and ‘brand ambassador.’

The video is one of a series of ‘Mining Minute’ episodes posted on the chromite junior miner’s website and on YouTube last March, soon after Longo was hired by the company.

Earlier episodes feature Smeenk and Longo in an office setting discussing various aspects of the Far North exploration camp and the company’s work there.
But Episode 23, released Aug. 3, signalled a definite departure from the more buttoned-down tone to one that more mirrors Longo’s online portfolio of modelling work.

The video has created such an online stir that The Sun newspaper in the United Kingdom headlined the “strange but saucy promo” of the blonde model “wiggling her bum while talking about chromite.”

“I guess, philosophically, there are a few people that aren’t as liberated as most,” said Smeenk, a 30-year mining developer, of his critics.

“I’m sorry they feel that way. I’m more sorry for some of the rancorous stuff that Theresa has had to read about herself. Christ, this is 2016. It’s not as though I wrote the script and specified the wardrobe, far from it.

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