Crisis on top of crisis at Bell

Crisis above crisis at Bell


In less than six months, since June, Bell Media has been forced to manage three crises that tarnish its reputation in addition to highlighting an inconsistency between its values ​​and its actions.&nbsp ;

“Better for all” is the slogan that greets Internet users on the Bell website, a company that has also been associated with the cause of mental health for several years. 

< p>However, the company is now swimming in the midst of controversy because the program Occupation double, which it broadcasts on its Noovo channel, has been intimidated, in front of thousands of viewers.&nbsp ;

Three shocked sponsors have ended their partnership, while on social media, voices are raised to denounce a reality show that presents toxic behaviors, which are known to have a negative effect on mental health.

“With all the issues at stake in recent weeks, Bell executives would be right to be concerned about the impact on their reputation and credibility. Any company knows that it takes a very long time to gain trust, that this trust is earned every day and that it is also easy to lose it”, observes Catherine Cano, President of CanoVision and expert in ethics and governance. 


According to Ms. Cano, a company must respond to a code of ethics and respect it. Its values ​​should also, she says, be reflected at all levels. 

But how can Bell on the one hand promote this “Better for all”, associated with health, well-being -being and carbon neutrality, while promoting the Formula 1 Grand Prix, an event where gasoline burns and sex tourism abounds? While broadcasting actual bullying? While firing an experienced and revered newsreader? 

“I'm not sure that the public connects them to all these events. The company is so sprawling that I'm not sure the brand is so tainted,” reflects UQAM public communication professor Bernard Motulsky, while acknowledging that playing on both counts ends up tarnishing credibility.



“There is inconsistency and inconsistency. It doesn't fitnot with the values ​​displayed and it is reprehensible, but it is not something that threatens the organization in the long term”, analyzes for his part Professor Christophe Roux-Dufort, who teaches crisis management at the University Laval. 

Volkswagen, which thwarted the controls of polluting emissions by government agencies a few years ago, is for him the pinnacle of the scandal and yet the company has resisted the crisis.  

“The size, history and accomplishments of an organization are harm absorbing factors,” says Roux-Dufort. And I think organizations like that rely on the fact that the public's attention turns very quickly. Which is not necessarily good news. »

At the end of the day, Bell Media had still not responded to our interview request.

Some crisis management issues

Intimidation at Double Occupation

The production of OD Martinique, broadcast on Noovo, decided on Wednesday to exclude three participants from the adventure for gestures “associated with intimidation”.

October 2022: Three show sponsors unhappy with abusive behavior in the OD Guys' house are stepping down. In response, the production expelled two bullies, while a third was eliminated from the game.

Firing of CTV newsreader Lisa LaFlamme

The Lisa LaFlamme's dismissal at CTV News forced Bell Media to justify the reasons for its decision.

August 2022: Viewers are shocked and many Canadian personalities condemn the ageist-scented “business decision” that led to the firing of the popular, award-winning newsreader.

Montreal Formula 1 Grand Prix sex tourism 

Women protesting against child prostitution during the Grand Prix weekend in Montreal on June 18th.

June 2022: Sexual exploitation and child prostitution are denounced everywhere, in addition to pollution. Bell, which has been promoting the event since 2021, had to broadcast a campaign on Noovo to raise awareness among customers of prostitution. 

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