Do Not Answer the Phone

Do Not Answer the Phone

This time last week I was in New York attending Blogworld Expo. On the morning of Wednesday, May 25th, I got a call from a skincare company telling me I had won a $300 prize. Apparently the night before at the Opening Night BlogWorld party I had signed up for a drawing with this company and they were calling to notify me that I had “won.” The woman that called told me that I had won a $300 gift certificate towards any one of their services. She tried to get me to commit to an appointment either in New York that week or at a location closer to my home upon my return to Santa Barbara. I explained to her that I was busy at a conference and that I would contact them when I returned to Santa Barbara if I was interested in getting more details from them.

Since that phone call, they have called me 13 more times in the last seven days. They call morning and night, and even called multiple times over the Memorial Day Holiday weekend. While I may have been mildly curious about my “prize” initially, it’s clear that this is sales-sy, spammy operation of the highest order. Incidentally, a quick Google search revealed that everyone who enters their “contests” wins a $300 “prize.”

The reason I’m writing about them today is because I’m shocked by two factors in this whole scenario. First, who from the BlogWorld organization invited them to their opening night event? Did anyone from BWENY vet them? Did they give them any guidelines about contacting, scratch that, harassing attendees? I get that they are trying to sell their products and services, but calling someone 13 times within a seven day period is unbelievable. BlogWorld owes it to its attendees to vet the types of vendors they invite to their official events.

The second piece of this puzzle that is so fascinating is that this skincare company clearly doesn’t understand the audience they are harassing. BlogWorld attendees are some of the most connected and talkative people in the world. If we don’t like something, we write about it, Tweet it, Facebook it and rant about it on YouTube. Granted, I’m being somewhat kind to them by not disclosing their company name, but I suspect I’m not the only attendee getting barraged with calls. Sooner or later they’re going to piss off someone that isn’t so kind and that person will bury their business in the blogosphere.

It’s amazing to me how misaligned a businesses goals can be. Clearly someone at this skincare company knew how important it was to get in front of a passionate community of influencers and new media types, yet they didn’t stop to think about the backlash that could occur from tormenting that same group with unwanted phone calls.

When all is said and done, I take responsibility for giving this vendor my contact information. That’s on me. I do blame BlogWorld for inviting a company that has such a well-known track record of below-board marketing practices to their official party. I’m sure this company paid handsomely for the privilege, but that’s no excuse. BlogWorld owes its attendees more.

  • Anonymous

    This happens more than we think…can’t tell you how many times I “won” a free 3 night stay or a month of fitness, etc, before I wised up…and yes, unfortunately conferences need to sell space, and if they paid to sponsor, well that is just sad they couldn’t keep the sponsors in a relative market, eh?  I mean really, what does skincare have to do with blogging?  I mean do they have the number one blog about skincare? Then maybe they are okay, but this is just a bit low I think.  Just my two cents worth.

    • I agree that skincare has nothing to do with blogging. I also get that conferences need to sell their space. But, someone at BWENY wasn’t thinking about longterm brand protection when they allowed a scammy company access to its attendees.

  • Dr. Willy Holmes-Spoelder

    Hello Scott:  I subscribe to your RSS feed, and what a great app that is for me to have a quick scan about what oh what is happening on our lovely planet. 
    Scott: whether it is a well-know but with low-class marketing habits skincare company OVERSTEPPING the boundaries of decency together with decent/ethical behavior, or only recently President Obama through a twitter account trying to persuade to get *good* Americans on his side, or: in-bred Royalty marrying Commoners, or CNN’s top interviewer (whatshisname) once also connected (lets-say) to that powerful tabloid News Of The World going to any length etc.:

    NOW that we can and are able to READ, THINK and REACT: Hurray
    for someone like you – taking time out of your own busy schedule *to have a say*, still nicely *speak your mind*.
    It helps, every effort to *destroy* evil practises whether as an involved blogger, whether as someone like myself, doing what I am able to do (can do).

    Sometimes it is too much, too demoralizing, too awful: *does it never stop?*

    Anyway: just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your VALID story, you as an extremely nice person, whilst at the same time, my skin prickling with anger, or *awareness* – (whatever). Yes: the organizers of that BWENY should have been more *ethical*, but they should
    also *examine* their own management abilities (CEO should be sacked!) Attendents !!! should be having a great carefree time whilst attending and not be tricked into what some enterprises and/or individuals cannot seem to stop (its in their nature to be rats, scorpions, snakes etc.)

    Byebye: I am Dr. Willy Holmes-Spoelder, Dutch residing on East Mediterranean soil.