You might recall back in 2012 there was a big scandal because of a dispute between Lassonde, the Quebec-based maker of Oasis fruit juice, and Olivia’s Oasis, a small company that makes skin care products.
It wasn’t the cease-and-desist letter that made headlines, or even the court case itself, which resulted in a judge not only dismissing Lassonde’s lawsuit but ordering it to pay costs. Instead, it was a court of appeal judgment that reversed the lower court’s ruling on costs that sparked social media attention when it was written about in La Presse.
Olivia’s Oasis was a small operation, and lawyer’s fees fighting the case would have put it out of business were it not for social media attention (including a Guy A. Lepage tweet) that prompted so much bad publicity for Lassonde that it quickly reached a settlement — on Easter weekend — with Deborah Kudzman, surrendering to a woman they had just beat in court.
Now, Ottawa producers Heidi Lasi and Pat McGowan have published a 14-minute documentary on the subject, which is posted on YouTube, called The Oasis Affair. It’s financed by Bell Media’s BravoFactual production fund.
The documentary is professionally produced and interesting, but it suffers from Lassonde’s refusal to participate, beyond sending an impersonal letter. I get that the company would rather forget about this story, but it would have been great to hear from people in the company at the time about how they reacted to the media onslaught and what they learned through the process. It might even have made the appear more human.
Another wasted opportunity, unfortunately.