Idearc Corporate Fraud Begins at Sales Culture


How quickly times do change.

Kinda crazy, a few years ago when people said the name “Ron Paul,” more times than not,  people probably thought of:

Also crazy is how quickly things can change. The growth of the Tea Party movement signals one of the greatest changes in my life. Not of the personal sort, but from a cultural perspective.  It appears to me, to some extent, that our opinions as consumers , businessmen, parents, teachers, consultants, employees, and citizens have changed towards corporate America, corporate greed. There is a growing movement towards ethical consumerism. Did your corporation donate money to a lobbyist? This might effect your earnings by patriotic American’s who believe in investing in moral and ethical corporations. Not just from the environmental or green sentiment, but also from that of a political sort. Business owners, like everyone else, are also consumers. They choose where they invest advertising dollars.

Who also recieved the email from Google for the $20 Million “Christmas Gift” to Charities?

Unions want to take corporate profits. Wealth redistribution if you asked me. Unions cater to workers, but who really profits in the unions? When a union is no longer non-profit they too become Crony Capitalists.

Aside from the message about “Card Check” at the end, I really believe this video communicates a growing sentiment in America toward Crony Capitalism.

I don’t believe Congress should pass the Employee Free Choice Act, maybe because I am not that big into unions, considering how bad they managed to screw the direction, profits, and innovations of many of America’s best corporations. Many American corporations are misguided my unions. It is often challenging for a business to sustain “LONGTERM” success with union involvement. Such is the case of GM being held back from innovation by its own employee labor union the UAW.  (My mother, TC Adams,  was a union steward in 1997  while working at the GTE Phone Mart in Garland Tx prior to joining GTE Yellow Pages as a sales consultant. ) GTE, then Verizon, then  Idearc, and now SuperMedia has a challenge working with the CWA Union. At Verizon/Idearc, reps in non-union states are compensated less for advertising sales than those in union organized territories. Cutting into corporate profits? Sure. Offering the company guidance from collecting information directly from clients and media consultants then sharing it  with the companies executives and so called product managers to guide the direction of the organization? Heck No!

(American Greed is a great show btw!)

I’ve always felt that I was paid too much  money just to sell Yellow Pages Advertising. Sell an ad. Move on to the next sell. Sell another. Do some paperwork. Move on the next yellow page ad sale. Man! When I was 20 years old I made over $100,000 selling Yellow Pages for Verizon! (And this was without selling “Fake Yellow Pages Ads to Fill a Phone Book.”) I think that was one of the years I earned one of my numerous Verizon Yellow Page Sales President’s Awards from Kathy Harless, the companies CEO. It was a great career. Up until I started becoming tenured in my job and craving to learn more and more about internet marketing.

Once I quickly recognized that the folks actually doing the work, managing the Google Adwords Campaigns and building the websites, got paid significantly less than those that made the big “SELLS,” it only took me a few years to really grasp what a lack of value Verizon Yellow Pages was really offering for online advertising. That’s when I began studying advanced Search Engine Optimization and Internet advertising methods and strategies.

The corporate sales culture had its flaws, but it was nothing like the direction that Idearc Media is headed, with leadership from Idearc CEO Scott Klein and his circle of crony executives.  As if corporate fraud of the personal sort from executives was not bad enough, they also don’t take accountability for the direction of the company. Ask anyone who heard quarterly earnings calls over the past few years.

If folks knew better they would be looking into Kathy Harless and her dream team of women who apparently thought it was wise to spin the company off with such a debt burden. Idearc paid the price to become a self sustaining organization. Verizon sapped the company dry of cash. Huge profits from Verizon Yellow Pages advertising sales went to fund FIOS and Verizon Wireless ventures. You would want to look into the corporate responsibility as well of Ivan Seidenburg and Verizon directors for FairPoint Communications, Hawaiian Telecom, and Idearc Media’s bankruptcies.

“Audit the Fed!”

If you haven’t been following Ron Paul’s latest movement.

After spending 9 years and 3 months in the Corporate jungle of Yellow Pages Sales from the age of 19 to 28, I want to scream out at the top of my lungs

“Audit Idearc!”

“Audit SuperMedia!”

Let’s look at just one thing that needs auditing in Idearc’s Corporate Sales Culture:

How much do Hispanic Reps in Texas earn vs non hispanic reps.Why do Hispanic Reps get paid higher commissions? Why did Hispanic Reps have lower quotas and earn more money since Verizon/Idearc began publishing Spanish Yellow Pages?

“Sell 4 different geography Solutions/SuperDirect mail drops of Spring vs selling 4 seasonal SuperDirect Mail drops of a single geography deck to keep from being charged back and losing commissions, when the clients doesn’t pay. Then disconnect the pre-paid cell phone that you are having someone answer. “

If this is the kind of advice,  Idearc local sales managers and sales reps believe will contribute to the success of the organization, may Idearc not go bankrupt but cease to exist. Idearc rewards sales. Even sales to illegal immigrants who want to start a business and have zero credit or identification. All you need is an address, business name, and a cell phone.

Quiere empezar un negocio?

Idearc does not reward taking care of the client.They do not reward media consultants for expertise beyond getting a signature on a contract to obligate a client for 12 months worth of billing, regardless of Idearc’s contribution to the success and outcome of the client. Idearc’s sales culture, unlike America’s Small Business Advertising Agencies such as this one,  do not reward results. Idearc does not reward sales based on retention or even receivables. The problem with corporate advertising sales is it is just too much about sales and not enough about advertising.

Audit Idearc’s local postcard sales have been made by hispanic reps in El Paso, Texas, and other hispanic markets. How many of the numbers in the advertisements are disconnected or ring to some newly formed paving, carpentry, locksmith, or painting company?

The Spanish phone books are a JOKE. The rates are a joke. The distribution is a joke. The profit margin is a joke. The entire thing stinks.

I don’t want a Spanish phone book at my house. (I need to remind myself to give Tim O’hare, the Mayor of Farmer’s Branch a call about Spanish phone book littering and see if the city councel can put something together to end this sort of environmental waste — I also recall Idearc changing the book’s name during O’Hare’s nationally recognized push to end the Farmers Branch sanctuary city policies towards illegal immigration.) If saturation distribution wasn’t a big enough issue, we get a few english and now spanish books! Apparently Idearc has had run overs, because they sent me two December publications of the Idearc Spanish Yellow Pages.

Idearc’s corporate fraud began when Scott Klein, the companies newly found CEO, incentivized by a $3.2 million home in Highland Park began lying to investors and employees about the state of Idearc’s business and the decline of yellow pages usage and receivables.  I still think Idearc / Super Media’s next CEO or group of executives needs to have experience with “carrying the bag” before they being hired.  I am anxious to see if he actually manages to reform the organization beyond his intense loquacious lip service work.

Most Yellow Pages advertising sales reps are greedy and unrealistic. I would say many of them are dumb, but I might lose a few friends. Seriously, how much is there to understand about an ad in a phone book. They might want to consider automating the process of purchasing yellow pages ads and transition the companies sales focus to more of a marketing/branding and promotion focused business model.

Well, time to get back to work. It takes a serious amount of energy and effort to start a business. Not as easy as buying an ad in the phone book.

I asked my future “local internet advertising boutique business partner” and chief web developer Jeff Swope what he felt makes he and I different from Idearc. (He has had the pleasure of getting an ear full of my soap box grandstanding over the years.)

His response:

We sell advertising, but advertising sales is not what we do. We are a small web Dallas area marketing boutique. We care about the success of our clients. We call our clients weekly and daily with innovative ideas. We believe that local advertising is as much about brand appearance as it is reputation and ethics. We are accountable. We are responsive.

I want to add:  We teach. My passion is to teach others what I know. I enjoy teaching my clients as well as learning from them.

What makes you the best in town is not just being the best but sharing what you know and being willing to spend the time effort and energy to learn more. I don’t have to the the authority for search engine optimization for all American Small Businesses. I just the SEO authority for my clients in Dallas-Fort Worth. My client who is a transmission shop doesn’t need to become the authority on Google for transmission repair in the United States, but just Garland, Plano, Lewisville and Dallas Tx.

Others in this organization might add that we don’t chase clients with contracts or big attorneys. When you have an issue, it is not softened by 4 mid-level managers before it gets to the desk of the CEO. In most cases you deal directly with the CEO. We have a team of pay-per-click campaign managers who don’t own the campaign after it is built. We build it for the client. We have content writers and web developers who utilize the latest innovations in Web 2.0 and content distribution. We don’t own the content or the site we build for the client. They do. If they cease doing business with our firm for any reason we can recommend another agency through the Dallas Fort Worth Search Engine Marketers Association. Benefit to the client is that most experienced developers can work with our existing efforts due to the capabilities of an open-source content management system like Joomla, WordPress, or Drupal.

Advertisements

One Response to Idearc Corporate Fraud Begins at Sales Culture

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by YellowCrooks.com and YellowCrooks.com, Dallas PPC Expert. Dallas PPC Expert said: RT @DallasSEOGuru: Idearc Corporate Fraud Begins at Sales Culture: http://wp.me/pqNID-gv […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: