Trinidad Ministry of Health called out for false advertising

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, Monday, August 13, 2012 – Trinidad and Tobago health authorities were forced to stage their high profile National Wellness Day 2012 concert yesterday (August 12) without one of their star performers.

And, former Trinidad and Tobago soca queen Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez, issued a public statement late last week accusing the Ministry of Health of using her in promotions for the event without actually contracting her.

In the statement Lyons-Alvarez said she had “regrettably been placed in quite an unexpected position”.

The situation reportedly stemmed from the ministry’s inability to produce a signed contract, which would have secured Lyons, her husband Bunji Garlin and the Asylum Band for the event on Sunday. Lyons, while admitting to having done commercials for the event, said the ministry was not authorized by her management to begin her personal endorsement aspect of the advertising campaign as nothing was contractually signed-off prior to the commercial placements and subsequent rotation on radio and television stations.

Lyons-Alvarez said that while she regretted disappointing that her fans and supporters, her professional rationale and that of her team, could not be compromised. She said ample time was allotted for the contractual issues to be ironed out, however there was never a contractual affirmation that she and her band would be hired for the event at the rate decided upon and presented to the ministry by her management.

In the end, Lyons-Alvarez, Garlin and The Asylum Band, accepted to perform at an event in Grenada the past weekend after it was realized that the Ministry of Health in Trinidad and Tobago had not agreed on the terms and conditions presented to them.

Despite the controversy, reports are that Sunday’s event still came off without a hitch.

According to the Trinidad Guardian, scores of people, including children and the elderly, showed up yesterday at the Paddock, Queen’s Park Savannah, for the Ministry of Health’s annual National Wellness Day. They came ready to participate in the various activities set on the day’s itinerary. Among those considered major were the 5k race and the Trini Food Makeover Cookout Competition, in which members of the public as well as the various Regional Health Authorities competed for more than TT$35,000 in prizes.

The occasion, dubbed the “healthiest day in the nation’s history,” was part of the ministry’s ongoing “Fight the Fat” programme and its signature event in observation of T&T’s 50th anniversary of Independence. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)