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Snapchat Takes hands-off Approach with Stars and Influencers



SAN FRANCISCO—Musician Jay Sean has visited the headquarters of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Instagram has reached out to tutor him on the best time to post photos for maximum impact.

But there is one social media service Sean has not heard from, even though he frequently uses the app to post spontaneous snippets of his life: Snapchat.

“When it comes to celebrities, Snapchat is different from Instagram or Twitter,” Sean said, whose biggest hit was the song “Down,” which also features hip-hop artist Lil Wayne. Sean has 472,000 followers on Instagram, but he says he does not know how many people follow him on Snapchat because the company does not disclose the information.

Social networks have traditionally formed tight bonds with actors, musicians, politicians and people who are known for nothing besides their online presence, because these people have the power to draw in more users. But Snapchat, whose parent company Snap is headed toward a blockbuster initial public offering next year, is bending those rules.

Instead of giving celebrities like Sean special treatment, Snapchat limits their perks and treats them like typical users. Instead of courting influencers, who are regular people with large followings on social media and who often promote products, the app is taking a hands-off approach with them.

The reason for the difference: Snapchat wants to provide a more authentic experience, one that does not depend on whether a celebrity is on its service, and one that is not cluttered by ad-like endorsements from influencers. The more someone’s real life shows up on its service, Snapchat figures, the more intimate and personal it feels. And marketers may be more attracted to this authenticity, spurring them to buy ads from Snapchat rather than pay celebrities and influencers to do product placements.

“Snapchat serves a different purpose,” Sean said. “On Snapchat, I really know my fans. They don’t like anything too contrived or too staged on Snapchat.”

Snapchat says it prefers that celebrities use the app like everyday users, rather than as a platform to sell products. The company’s terms of service prohibit getting paid to post, making influencer marketing a no-no. The company, based in Venice, Calif., said it does not want to harm Snapchat’s image as a place where people go to interact with their friends.

“Snapchat is now in a very big battle for habitual users,” Grant Owens, chief strategy officer of digital ad agency Critical Mass, said. While Snapchat makes money from advertising, Owens said, remaining relatively marketing-free will help the company differentiate itself.

All of this contrasts with how Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks have relied on celebrities and influencers to build the popularity of their services. Celebrity users were so important to Facebook when it went public in 2012 that the pages of Lady Gaga and an internet-famous dog named Boo were mentioned in the company’s regulatory filings. Twitter’s initial public offering filing in 2013 pointed out that chef Mario Batali and President Barack Obama were among its users.

Google’s YouTube even helped create a new category of online celebrity — the influencer — by elevating popular video creators on the platform. And Instagram supports celebrities and influencers by sharing data that can help them attract larger audiences.

These moves have pushed many people to seek social media fame; some even try to make a living by selling products to their followers. These influencers have formed guilds, are supported by agents and are paid when they slip products into photos of themselves having fun and looking stylish.

Snapchat does not cater to these groups. Instead of having celebrities and influencers make product placements on the service, Snapchat tightly controls its ads, which must meet a high bar, according to advertisers. The ads are typically designed to mirror the look and the feel of videos and photos that users already see on the messaging service.

By keeping that quality control, Snapchat is able to charge a lot for its ads: $350,000 (U.S.) to $600,000 for a daylong national geofilter — a branded image that people can overlay on their photos — and up to $700,000 for lenses that can transform a user’s selfie, according to a price list obtained by The New York Times. The company recently introduced lower-priced advertising options.

Yet for a social media company to eschew celebrities and influencers is risky.

“You’d be crazy not to serve them well, because they represent a large amount of engagement and activity on most platforms,” consulting firm Activate’s COO Michele Anderson said. To ignore influencers, she said, is a “short-sighted business risk.”

Some online influencers have gone public with their displeasure over Snapchat’s arm’s-length approach.

One of them, Shaun McBride, posted an 11-minute “open letter” to Snapchat on YouTube last month. In it, he complains about how poorly he says the company works with influencers and advertisers, and says it ignored his requests to be verified, a designation that indicates someone is a public figure that others might try to impersonate. He calls Snapchat “cool but very expensive” for brands, and says that made it hard to build an audience.

“YouTube, I have a rep and they help me out with anything,” McBride says in the video. “I’ve talked to people at Instagram about how Instagram stories work and we work together on stuff. Snapchat, I don’t really have a point of contact, and they’re not really embracing their creators.”

In an email, McBride said his relationship with Snapchat did not change after he posted the video.

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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