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    Bad Ad

    (January 09, 2002) AIRs, as you know, is the phenomenal marketing company in New Hampshire that built a solid franchise in Internet training seminars during the late 1990s. Armed with little more than a copy of someone else's materials and the urge to prosper (and, no advertising or recruiting expertise), the company was able to deliver reassurance and 'certifications' on a roll that was only eclipsed by the owner's failure to sell at the peak of the market. That has left the little marketing company searching for new products to move down its well greased distribution system. Unfortunately, distribution systems usually require in-house merchandising expertise and the company has never been willing to invest real dollars in new product development or the expertise required to fully grasp the market they were attempting to reach.

    Given the range of outlandish offers that were floating at the peak of the market, it's sad but just that the company went unpurchased. 

    Recently, the company began its usual bulk email marketing campaign of its new product, a cross posting tool designed to compete with the likes of more established and professional players. In it's advertising, the company is claiming that it is able to reach 10 websites with a single click. Unfortunately, the creators of the ad didn't bother to check to see whether or not the product could do as advertised.

    It does not perform as described in the ad. It's not one click and it doesn't reach the outlets it claims to.

    We were alerted to this problem, which is as easily attributed to incompetence as it is to a more sinister motive, by Job Board executives who were complaining about the fact that the ad promised delivery of their services when AIRs had absolutely no relationship with them.

    We know that AIRs is aware of their mistake. We're not surprised that they didn't bother to issue a retraction of the ad, however. Although you'd expect a company with integrity to issue a correction through the same mechanism as the advertisement (and, we'd suppose there is a legal case here somewhere), this would be other than the company's standard. Whether incompetent or intentional, the company owes a written explanation to each of the recipients of its fraudulent ad.

    - John Sumser

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