When ICBC’s chair Paul Taylor suddenly and mysteriously quit on Jan. 22, he was immediately replaced by an interim chair, Jatinder Rai.
Rai, as I wrote in this story on The Tyee, is loyal to Premier Christy Clark and is active in the federal Liberal Party. He runs an advertising agency that produced the $450,000 “The Lucky Ones” video shown at the opening of the controversial Times of India Film Awards at B.C. Place Stadium in April 2013. Omni TV interviewed Rai about the video for its Punjabi-language newscast.
Rai, on the board since 2008, received $15,550.08 in retainers for attending six of nine ICBC board meetings and all six governance committee meetings, plus $11,662.50 in meeting fees, for 2011, the most recent year reported.
Rai’s Response Advertising became one of the government’s preferred advertising agencies last summer after the Liberals won the 2013 provincial election. Thirty-three companies across the communications sector responded to a public call for proposals. Ten advertising agencies were pre-qualified by the Government Communications and Public Engagement office, including Rai’s Response, to do work on an “as-and-when-needed” basis. Response scored highest on the evaluation with an 82.1% score based on corporate capability and key personnel qualifications, portfolio/work samples, ability to provide a unique offering and pricing. See the documents below.
DDB Canada (71.9%) and Cossette Communications (70.1%) are big, Liberal-friendly ad shops who have enjoyed substantial government contracts, but they scored substantially less than Response. The 10 pre-qualified companies include Hogan Millar Media, the company behind the BC Liberals’ election campaign infomercial and the weathervane ad that ran on heavy rotation during the final weekend of the election campaign. Before helping Premier Christy Clark win the BC Liberal leadership in 2011 and the election in 2013, he was in charge of the local office of FD Element which did work for Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver and was involved in the phony, pro-Vision CivicScene blog.