The company complies with its obligations, but that doesn’t mean you should give them your money. The pitch from Media Corp goes like this:  Pay us $8500, we’ll produce a one-minute television commercial, and air it 45-50 times in multiple markets.  If we are satisfied with the results of this “test marketing” campaign, then you grant us an exclusive 9 month term to market the product.  We’ll handle all the costs associated with marketing, and keep 50% of gross sales.  We do not guarantee sales. Critics of Media Corp feel ripped off.  They claim that they paid $8,500 and saw no sales. 

However, since the company didn’t guarantee sales, and did what they said they would do, the consumer has little recourse.  One other company, when asked about their experience with Media Corp said, “spend your money promoting yourself or hiring a PR firm”. One former employee told me that during the entire time he worked there, he did not see any product sell any units at all. 

Media Corp provides two references.  I couldn’t reach one.  The other reference’s test marketing must have gone well, because he claimed that Media Corp got his product a great deal of exposure, paid when they said they would, and paid what they were supposed to pay.  He has since become a rep for their electronic products.  Apparently, if your product does well, the company does have reps that can get your product retail exposure…but that’s a mighty big “if”.

When we asked for additional references and copies of commercials they had created, the company refused.  They claimed they weren’t permitted to do so under the Confidentiality Agreement with their clients.  While that is true, if the company wanted our business badly enough, you’d think they’d submit to our requests pretty quickly — not to mention having only two references. 

This is very much a case of “buyer beware”.  The questions that you, the consumer, must ask are the following: 

1)    Can I do this myself?

2)    What exposure can I give my own product for that same $8,500?

3)    Why does the company only provide two references? If they were so successful, why don’t they provide more?

4)    Why were they so evasive in providing additional information?

5)    If my product was so good that it passed their “in-house review”, and has such huge potential, why aren’t they falling over themselves to give me more references and copies of commercials?

6)    If Media Corp has been so successful, why aren’t there more hits on them in a Google search? 

It’s easy to be swayed by someone telling you that your product could join the ranks of “As Seen on TV” successes.  But you must be suspicious and critical of offers like this. If you want your product to get national exposure, hire an experienced PR firm that will lay out all the details of their plan for you.  There are so many ways to reach consumers now, thanks to the internet.  Don’t be a sucker – ask the hard questions before handing over your money.   

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