Fraud Alert!

Fraud Alert!!

Attention Members

There is a company named Spectrum Demographic Marketing that is soliciting Chamber members to advertise in a UCONN Huskies Men’s or Women’s Basketball Schedule/Calendar.  The sales people are named David Hopkins or Jenna Burgin.

BEWARE

These calendars/posters are not UCONN Husky Calendars and are not affiliated with the team AT ALL.

We have been working with UCONN and Kyle Muncy, UCONN’s Trademark, Licensing and Branding office.

Mr. Muncy has assured us that the official UCONN Husky calendar/poster is NOT this product.  In fact, when these posters are printed and distributed, UCONN will confiscate all of them and destroy them.

THIS ADVERTISING IS A SCAM!

We have been working on this for two weeks and are unable to verify the number of copies that will be printed, how they will be distributed and by whom.  UCONN will not distribute them and they will not be available at games or on campus.

We are also unable to verify the “spots” you are supposed to receive on ESPN or Charter.  Neither company can verify that your ad will be played during their programming.

JUST TO CLARIFY

This company has nothing to do with the Chamber.  The Chamber has not cooperated with them in any way.  UCONN has told them to cease and desist and has their legal department investigating.  There is an official complaint registered against them for misleading advertisers and for trademark infringements.

We have received copies of Chamber member’s signed contracts with this company that clearly state that the ad will go in the ” The2014 Women’s UCONN Huskies Basketball Schedule” and that the center of the poster will have the “2014 season schedule for

Women’s UCONN Huskies.”

This is not legal, not approved, and misleading at best.

IN ADDITION

This company is soliciting ads for the “UCONN Basketball program”, a “championship commemorative edition highlighting the Men’s and Women’s championship wins.”

This is not the official UCONN program.

THE CHAMBER HIGHLY RECOMMENDS THAT YOU INVEST YOUR ADVERTISING DOLLARS WISELY.  

If you have been contacted by these individuals please contact Diane Nadeau at the Chamber at 860.423.6389 or
 Please note for the future that UCONN does not accept credit cards for any type of advertising of this nature. They will always send you an invoice on their letterhead and give you a local address to send the check to.


Here is an article on their practices:

(link: http://www.wave3.com/story/23078537/customers-claim-forecastle-music-festival-schedule-is-a-scam)

Company doesn’t deliver on Forecastle advertising package

Posted: Aug 07, 2013 10:53 PM EST Updated: Nov 27, 2013 10:53 PM EDT

By Eric Flack – bio | email

Jeff and Vicki Schaffer

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – It was an ad package mixing the hottest music festival of the summer with more than a week’s worth of TV commercials. What could go wrong? As it turned out, everything. The Louisville businesses that got involved said they want their money back.

Tucked away on Lexington Road behind Baxter Jack’s, Highland’s Furniture and Decor needed to get their name out there. So when owners Jeff and Vicki Schaffer got a call from a company named Spectrum Demographic Marketing, they decided to take a chance.

“I’m yelling to Jeff from the front, go for it!” Vicki said. “And it was all downhill.”

The Schaffer’s bought into what Spectrum called the “Forecastle Music Festival Schedule.”

“Which is part of our philosophy,” Vicki said.

“We want to be able to do things and work with the community,” Jeff added.

In what Spectrum described as an “e-contract” the Schaffer’s paid $380 to be guaranteed ad space in Spectrum’s 2013 “Forecastle Music Festival Schedule.” Spectrum told the Schaffer’s it would be displayed and distributed in local businesses.

The contract also said the store would be featured in 60 television spots aired over 10 days on WAVE 3 TV. Spectrum called it a free gift for sponsoring the schedules.

Jeff told their friends and Vicki posted it on their website, the store was going to be on TV.

“We were so jazzed about it,” Vicki said.

But then, the commercials didn’t air. The WAVE 3 sales department said Spectrum called about air time, but never actually booked any.

And as for those Forecastle schedules?

Those didn’t work out too well either.

Forecastle organizers hit Spectrum with two separate cease and desist orders for using their name without permission. So the posters turned into just a random listing of summer events in Louisville. The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau eventually put out a warning to local businesses calling Spectrum’s “Forecastle Schedule” a scam. But not before a half dozen Louisville small businesses bought the marketing packages from them at a cost between $200 and $380 a piece.

So just how much marketing did those businesses get? Of the four “key distribution points” Spectrum listed in this invoice sent to the Schaffer’s, the poster was only displayed in one of them. In fact, managers at Kroger and Walgreens, two of the businesses mentioned, said they hadn’t even seen the poster before.

“They’ve hurt the community,” Jeff Schaffer said. “They’ve hurt the business owners.”

A Spectrum employee refused an extended interview when reached by phone.

But soon after that phone call, every business that paid for the ad package got the following email from Spectrum, promising refunds.

Please be informed that we are issuing a refund for the Forecastle Festival schedule promotion due to the fact that we are unable to air the media spots. We have been given cease and desist orders by Forecastle. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please be advised that the refund will be issued within the next 2 to 3 weeks to give billing the time to process.

“I’m not holding my breath at all,” Vicki said of the pledge to refund the couple’s money. “Because everything they’ve said up till this point has been a lie.”

One of these businesses, Imperial Tattoo’s and Piercing on Baxter Avenue, actually got a refund early on in this process because, according to the owner, they just complained so often.

Forecastle officials said that Spectrum Demographic Marketing should not be confused with it’s actual vending and concessions partner, Spectrum East Services.

 

The Chamber of Commerce, Inc, Windham Region
1010 Main Street
Willimantic, Connecticut 06226
860-423-6389

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