Albert Barbusci Cancels Breakfast

On 6 September 2016, I sent Albert Barbusci of Harbor Port Development Partners (HPDP) an email asking him two questions about his bio on the Novaporte website.

Specifically, I asked him about this statement:

Albert Barbusci (via Novaporte website)

Albert Barbusci (via Novaporte website)

“Barbusci merged Events International with Grey Healthcare Group, a global pharmaceutical marketing and advertising agency, to form Phase V Communications, Canada where he served as Chairman.”

And this statement:

“In the 1990’s Barbusci became a partner of the Atlanta Consulting Group, a successful U.S. firm, consulting to Fortune 1000 companies.”

Barbusci did not reply to my email and so I went ahead with my story, which included a quote from Dan Relton, senior vice president and director of HR at the Grey Healthcare Group, who, when I asked him about Barbusci, said, “We don’t know this person. Phase V Canada isn’t affiliated with us.”

I did not mention the Atlanta Consulting Group because I needed confirmation from Barbusci as to which Atlanta Consulting Group he’d partnered with.

In the story, which was published on 7 September 2016, I noted that Barbusci had not replied to my questions.

 

Carve out some time

On 17 September 2016, as I was out running errands, I received this email from Barbusci:

Hi Mary,
I don’t believe we have ever met, I’ll be in Sydney on September 26 & 27th and suggest we carve out a few minutes to meet in person. I’ll be pleased to travel back in time with you regarding my past and current business ventures.
Regards,
Albert

I replied in the affirmative and he then wrote:

Mary, that was quick. How does 8.00 or 8.30am on the 27th sound? We could have breakfast if this works for you. Cheers, Albert

We agreed to meet at 8:30 am on September 27 in the Holiday Inn breakfast room. Imagine my excitement! I was to meet the elusive Albert Barbusci. It was like receiving an invitation to breakfast from a Yeti.

 

You are clearly not working alone

Given that my story was published on 7 September 2016 and he didn’t get around to answering my email until 10 days later, I assumed he was unconcerned about its content. But oh, was I wrong. This morning (Monday, September 26), I received this message from Barbusci:

Mary,

Yeti

Yeti by Philippe Semeria CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Apparently you like to shoot from the hip before you get your facts straight. You sent me a note on Sept. 6th asking me to help clarify your findings and I responded positively with an invitation to meet in Sydney. I now find out that you wrote and released your article on Sept. 5th, one day before reaching out to me. I’m questioning your motives and who is supporting your false reporting, you are clearly not working alone. That said, I will not be meeting with you tomorrow and I will send your file along to my attorneys for review.
Albert

So, first of all, I wrote the article on September 5 (a Monday) but didn’t publish it until September 7 (a Wednesday).  As anyone familiar with The Cape Breton Spectator will know, I publish on Wednesdays. I usually change the date on the story to match the actual date of publication but in this case, I clearly forgot.

That said, I didn’t really need a quote from Barbusci — I had one. From his website. And I had a quote from Relton contradicting Barbusci’s website.

But Barbusci seems to think that I was required to wait 10 days for him to respond to my email and then a further 10 days to meet up with him in Sydney before publishing my story.

That shows a lack of understanding of how media functions that would be touching if it weren’t being displayed by the man “marketing” our port.

And what is “you are clearly not working alone” supposed to mean? (If there’s someone working with me, I really wish they’d show themselves.)

What kind of “file” is he sending to his attorneys for review? (Not a very good one, I’m guessing, if it took him 20 days to notice I’d published a story about him.)

And why didn’t he just answer my questions?

 

 

 

Featured image: English breakfast by CristianNX (Own work) CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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