Archive for the 'Allan’s Blog Comments' Category


Fraudulent Advertisers Beware!

I’ve been in the business a whole lot of years and I think of myself as a savvy marketing guy who can read advertising copy and know it is BS or not. Well, I’m rethinking my confidence level today. Let me explain about how my bank account got drained by one fraudulent advertiser recently and let my example serve you as a “what not to do” story.

I responded to a very well written ad talking about a teeth whitening product called Bright Smile. For the price of just mailing, I could get a sample and a sample of another whitening product called Clean Whites. Seemed like a legit offer and boldly they had a headline “As Seen on NBC, ABC, MSNBC and CNN” so that seemed to make it a legit company. WRONG.

In July, sample product was ordered and delivered as I requested, but in the packaging was a note that said if I didn’t call to cancel within 15 days of ordering, I would be charged $79.00. Amazingly, the product took 16 days to reach me. I called the number and canceled the order. Two months later, I’m being billed $79 x 2 every other day. And these smart asses are validating my account by charging $1.00 to my account to make sure it still works.

The banner ad by have listed an online ad that represents Dazzle Smile, Smile Bright and Clean Whites as clients. They use fraudulent billing practices and have drained my bank account with erroneous billing. Besides contacting Visa and bank, I’ve also sent copies of their advertising which claim “as seen on” to the appropriate programming stations they list in their ads CBS, ABC, CNN and MSNBC, which I seriously doubt they have permission to use their logo.

Here is the link mentioned:

If the agency truly didn’t know their client scammed people that is one thing, but if they knowingly create and develop false advertising like this, shame of the industry if not legal action should be taken against them. By the way, I followed the links they list and and of course it is all BS.

So what do you think…ever been scammed…let hear about your story.



Lots to be thankful for…

…even if it is a bit bleak out there. It’s the start of Thanksgiving week and my family and I are off visiting family and friends in Cleveland, Ohio. Burr, it’s cold here in the mid- 20’s and snowing…just like I remember as a child growing up here. On Monday, I took my son for a tour of Cleveland and was amazed at just how much the downtown area has changed for the better. Their redevelopment program has completely changed the face of their main street Euclid Avenue, which runs from the Westside to the Eastside of Cleveland.


I also found a part of the downtown area that is completely abandoned…whole sky rise buildings empty. It was a bit dramatic as I remember what a center of commerce the downtown area had been. It reminds me somewhat of the Silicon Valley corridor with the many empty tilt-ups once filled with the dreams and aspirations of entrepreneurs wanting to be the next Apple or Google.


So as we prepare to feast with family, I’m reflecting on what was and is, but thankful for friends, family and colleagues for their trust and support. We all know next year will be better for us and the future will be brighter as we make course adjustments and learn from past missteps. Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving!


Save the Date…December 11, 2008

Save the Date: Thursday, December 11th for CMO Summit with topic to be “Global Marketing in today’s Economic Turmoil.”  Guest panelist include Econmists discussing their vision of the future economy; Allan Linden Global Marketing Consultants discussing strategies for marketing in a downturned economy; Christina Elwood of Moreland Associates discussing tools and strategies for selecting the right targets and then creating the right messaging to sell them.

This is an exclusive roundtable discussion, hosted at J. Lohr Winery Tasting Room in San Jose, California. Seating is limited and by invite only.  For more details, email us at


Fear, Dought, Uncertainty

Interesting news starting Monday of this week…DHL to close North American facility laying off over 9,000 peopole. GM to close Delphia and will probably lose their GMC Mortgage division to BK. President elect Obama is already on the hot-seat and hasn’t even been inducted to office.  If you look at all of the negative news right now, you’d think the sky has fallen and can’t get up.  So, what’s a person to do?

Remember the adage “What goes up must come down and visa versa.”  One suggestion is to start planning for a very successful 2009, with first quarter ramping up to a very hot 2nd quarter in sales in all sectors.  As marketing professionals, use your visionary talents to start thinking out of the norm and plan for agressive action in securing market share, gaining new customers and of course, maintaining your current customers.

What do you think?  Will your boss or VC give you money to market and bet on the future?


Day After Can We Live With Our Choices?

Well, we’ve all lived through a bit of history with the election of our first black president.  The comments around the water cooler have ranged from “how fantastic” to “OMG, I can’t believe they elected this guy.” Himmm, can you guess who the later person’s choice was?

So here’s the deal…based on past experience here in Silicon Valley, and living through 4 presidential elections and 3 down turns in the economy, I believe we will start seeing a positive change starting in March.  Why? By March, President Obama will have been in office almost 2 months, and business will be starting their selling cycle. At this point too, you and I will have a feeling of confidence and false hope, just enough to get the economic engine turning again.  If all holds true, we might even see some very innovative new products or services being introduced to help give buyers a reason to buy.

So, what do you think?  Let’s share some collective brain waves on the subject.


Global View and Today’s Economy

In a few days the world will be settling into realization that the people have chosen their new government leaders.  Certainly, our new President and Vice President will be the topic of many conversations. So the questions that must be answered from a marketer’s view include:

1. How will this personnel change affect me, my clients, my ability to market a product or service?

2. Will it be easier to market Globally? If so, when?

3. What new strategies must be looked at to market in the turmoil of world economics?

If you have some thoughts, please share them?

August 2020