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At least that's according to a calculation done by a media research group hired by Guy Laliberte, the Cirque du soleil founder who recently became the country's first space tourist.

Canada's space clown got 23 times more world attention than Afghan mission

"So, I'm not surprised that this is one of the great events this year for Canada."

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Menard said her 50 year old boss hasn't ruled out another extraterrestrial voyage in the future because his last one wasn't long enough.

The Cirque's public relations director said most of the Canadian coverage of Laliberte's trip was positive.

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"We did get some criticism but it was mainly from editorialists," said Renee Claude Menard.

The contrast could hardly be more stark with Afghanistan where Canada is one of several NATO countries figuring in the mission, and where the daily drip of disheartening news might leave readers numb.

Moore says the media tended to pick up Laliberte because "it gives us a bit of relief from the sheer seriousness of our daily lives."

Moore suggests Laliberte's story got even more coverage thanks to his red Nike Air Max 95 Black Green

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MONTREAL Canada's first space clown can brag that his recent trip into the cosmos generated at least 23 times more international news coverage this year than this country's mission in Afghanistan.

And he noted that coverage of the space mission was measured over only four months from June to October, while stories about the Afghan mission were measured over 10 months.

Six tourists had been to space before him, she said, and none drew close to that much attention.

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"This is a guy who knows, thanks to his Cirque du soleil experience, how to get that kind of coverage and make the most of it," Moore said in an interview.

The Cirque founder originally shelled out US$35 million for his extraterrestrial flight, suggesting a rather nifty return on investment of more than 1,500 per cent.

Through mid October, it counted approximately 41,000 reports about Laliberte and his One Drop environmental foundation.

"It (Afghanistan) is a sobering thing that, by and large, we don't want to think about whereas this is kind of a fun topic and it's one that doesn't scare us off," he said.

By way of comparison, Canada's mission in Afghanistan the most significant and gruelling international undertaking by this country since the Korean War showed up in 1,812 news items over the entire year, from January to mid October.

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Laliberte was surprised by the volume of international coverage, Menard said.

The Quebec billionaire hired Montreal Air Max 95 Black Women

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Karl Moore, a McGill University management professor, compares Laliberte to another billionaire: the "flamboyant" Richard Branson, founder of Virgin records, "one of the great marketers in the world."

"The percentage would have been ever larger in favour of Laliberte if we just took the period from June to October," Lambert said.

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clown's nose, which he used as a colourful photographic prop.

"Maybe the numbers are overstated a bit, but I think that there is actually a fair bit of reality to them."

From outer space, the Cirque founder conducted a series of events around the world designed, he Air Max 95 Leather

"But this got 23 times more space or time coverage in the media than Canada's presence in Afghanistan."

"It wasn't enough to discourage us. It was a little bit disappointing but, at the same time, we have to look at the global coverage and look at it in a positive sense."

said, to raise awareness about protecting water.

Jean Lambert, a senior analyst at Influence, says his firm began its tracking on June 4th, the day Laliberte held a news conference to officially announce his trip.

It estimated the play on newspaper pages, on the airwaves, and on websites to be equivalent to half a billion advertising dollars.

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The firm has released analysis that it would have cost C$592,425,679 to buy that much advertising space for Laliberte and his environmental foundation.

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based Influence Communication to look at radio, TV, newspaper and Internet coverage from 71 countries of his cosmic voyage.

Laliberte blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sept. 30, and spent 11 days travelling or aboard the International Space station.

"(It's) Air Max Dark Grey not to belittle the importance in international media of Canada's presence in Afghanistan," Lambert said.

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