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Manager at Vancouver real estate firm resigns after employees posed as house-hunters

Condos are built in downtown Vancouver in March 2010.

Simon Hayter/The Globe and Mail

A "senior manager" has resigned from the real estate marketing firm from which two employees posed as prospective buyers for televised newscasts.

MAC Marketing Solutions president Cameron McNeill said in an e-mailed statement he has accepted the resignation of the senior manager following a number of staff interviews. However, he would not disclose the manager's identity or what role the manager played in the ruse.

"What I can say is that I am dealing with this internally and I am confident that this was an isolated incident," he said.

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The newscasts, which aired on Feb. 9, were on the supposed spike in home sales around the Lunar New Year. The two employees posed as house-hunting sisters at a downtown condo development – being marketed by MAC – and told cameras their parents would be visiting from China to help them purchase a condo.

"We definitely like it here, but we have to talk to our parents," one woman said. "Maybe tomorrow we will bring them here. … If we like this place, we have to tell them and they make the decision. Usually, Chinese people like to buy during this time."

The company said it is working to ensure such an incident does not happen again.

"For over ten years, MAC Marketing Solutions has strived for excellence built on a foundation of honesty, integrity and professionalism," Mr. McNeill said in his statement. "It is on this same foundation that we will use this unfortunate occurrence as a learning experience to reaffirm what we stand for as an organization.

"Although it will take time, we hope that we can earn back our good reputation and your trust."

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Based in Vancouver, Andrea Woo is a general assignment reporter with a focus on multimedia journalism. More

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