Dallas SEO Expert Testifies as Expert Witness in Federal Court

April 18, 2012

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) April 10, 2012 Search engine optimization expert Mike Stewart testified in late March before a United States Federal Judge during a hearing on motions in an international trademark case. Stewart, who operates Dallas-based SMBSEO, was an expert witness in the case regarding the impact of similar business names in the geotargeting environment of today’s search engines.

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The hearing, Civil Action number 3:10-CV-0165 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, involved a Canadian owned company operating under the name Cash Store Financial Services, or CSFS, and a Dallas-based company operating as Cottonwood Financial. Cottonwood Financial operates short-term lending stores in several states under the trademarked name Cash Store. CSFS also operates similar stores in Canada under the name The Cash Store. Until recently, the similar names did not cause a problem because of the vast difference in geography and customer base.

However, CSFS is now a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange and has several million US investors. They distribute information online and through hardcopy to US locations, often under the names CSF, CSFS, Cash Store Financial Services and The Cash Store. As US information distribution brings the CSFS branding across international borders, a trademark issue and brand dilution may be occurring. Cottonwood Financial is bringing legal action against CSFS in an attempt to prevent the Canadian company from using the Cash Store name.

During Mike Stewart’s expert testimony, he presented screenshots showing location-based search results pertinent to the case. He was able to show that searching from a computer with a Dallas-based IP address for terms like “cash store financial” or “cash store financial services” returned results indicating that the company had physical locations nearby. Canadian company CSFS does not have Cash Store locations in Dallas, but Cottonwood does. Google’s geotargeting logic, which attempts to align search terms with top results in the geographic area surrounding the user, causes the issue.

According to court documents, Cottonwood’s pleadings attempted to prove that the Dallas-based company would be harmed by the dilution of the trademark. Possible harm could include loss of business, negative brand connotations and dilution of online marketing efforts. They filed a preliminary injunction to prohibit CSFS from using the Cash Store name within US communications. CSFS filed a motion to dismiss the case.

According to court documents, dated March of 2011, Judge David C. Godbey stated that “Cottonwood does have a strong likelihood of making a case for dilution.” However, according to the most recent court documents, he has not determined whether Cottonwood made it’s case for all legal action requested. Last year, he granted a partial motion from CSFS to dismiss certain aspects of the case. At the same time, he also granted Cottonwood’s motion for preliminary injunction. CSFS will not be allowed to use the name The Cash Store in US communications until the case is fully decided. According to Mike Stewart, with his recent expert witness testimony, the pending final ruling from the court case may indeed go in Cottonwood’s favor.

Businesses that rely on search engine marketing or online branding should keep an eye on the outcome of this case. The implications already seen provide compelling reasons for businesses to take proactive actions like keyword research to ensure their trademark and online brand is not threatened.

About SMB SEO LLC SMB SEO LLC, a Dallas-based advertising agency, helps small and medium-sized businesses grow in revenue by dominating online, mobile and social media marketing channels. SMB SEO offers a cost effect, transparent, and holistic search engine marketing service solutions that includes Organic Search Optimization, Local Search Optimization, Paid Search Optimization, Link Buiding, Content Marketing, Listing Optimization, Video and Website Development services. SMB SEO recently relocated to the Urban Towers Offices in Las Colinas at 222 W. Las Colinas Blvd. Ste 1650 Irving, Tx 75039. SMB SEO is proud to be a corporate member of the Dallas Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association, the oldest and largest search marketing meetup group in the US. For more information, visit http://www.smbSEO.com.

About Cash Store The Cash Store is a trusted financial lending company with more than 270 locations across the country. The Cash Store specializes in providing customers with a fast and convenient way to meet unexpected financial expenses. The Cash Store is not the average lending company and prides itself on providing a stress free environment and simple approval process. For more information on services, visit The Cash Store on the web at http://www.cashstore.com.


House panel approves broadened Internet snooping bill

July 30, 2011

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In today’s news…

House panel approves broadened Internet snooping bill – Patriot Update.

Big Government takes snooping a bit further…

This is just one reason why I am a Conservative Libertarian and not a Republican.


» Oops! Official Secret Service Twitter Account Bashes FOX News – Big Government

May 19, 2011

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Funny stuff. It appears our secret service can’t manage a HootSuite account for Twitter, but they have to monitor news sites? I don’t know whether to laugh or be really scared.

Social Media gone wrong care of the US Government.

» Oops! Official Secret Service Twitter Account Bashes FOX News – Big Government.


Not So SuperMedia Keeps Shareholder Out of Annual Meeting!

May 11, 2011

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I am here in Southlake at the SuperMedia 2011 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

When I signed into the meeting at 9:05 I was told the meeting was over. What else did you expect from this crony executive leadership? Then they childishly moved the meeting to another room. With all the executives and board of directors members standing around chatting.

It is now 10:22 a.m. central standard time. I am going wait a few more minutes to take a couple more pics to prove the meeting was not over by 9:06 a.m. when I arrived. The woman at the desk explained to me that the meeting had already finished.

I am filing a request for the shareholder’s meeting minutes with SuperMedia’s legal team.

Pictures and additional details are coming soon. I would appreciate someone sharing the meeting minutes vs having to work with the company’s legal team.


SEO Crooks, Yellow Crooks, and Snake Oil Salesmen – Are all the same!

January 2, 2011

In the early days of modern medicine, men went around selling various unproven and untested concoctions to people with claims of amazing cures and an instant relief of whatever ails them. Greed and fraud is why our Government decided to step in and end this predatory business practice by creating the FDA.

Greed is the word that best defines crony capitalism. Greed and gluttony are traits that seldom gain attention amongst the executive culture on Wall Street. The average surgeon makes just around 2 million $ per year, the average Hedge Fund manager earns well over 800 million $ per year. Why? Greed. That money should be shared with investors in an equal proportion to the amount invested.

Over these last few months, I’ve been paying close attention to the solicitations from so-called SEO scam artists (aka: professionals) who make false claims and guarantees to improve client rankings or get them on the first page of Google. It seems that little thought or focus on the sales call goes into how they intend to accomplish the actual task. Is it because want to avoid giving away the secret? Or is it because they have no real PLAN?. In many cases the client already ranks, but it seems as though some SEO companies think that every small business or website needs their help with web rankings, so they feel the need to continue to spam website contact forms and scrape email addresses off of websites to solicit new business with these statements.

It is said that 50% of advertising wasted. It should also be said that “50% of contact form emails are solicitations.” Thanks for creating a crappy user experience spammers!

Beware of so-called SEOs that Guarantee to Improve Your Rankings. There’re a number of what I call SEO Snake’s Oil salesmen out there who will claim to help you rank for 1,000 keywords. There are many instances in which some dubious SEOs will help you rank for terms like “divorce lawyer outrageous settlement Dallas”. But seriously, what’s the likelihood of someone typing something like that?

The worst old sales tactic in sleazy yellow pages sales was the “I want to update your listing” phone call. This is total lie and complete BULLSHIT! They don’t give a rats butt about the business FREE listing. The purpose for the call is to sell an ad in the “most used/distributed/awesome phone book.”

Fast forward to the days of the internet, Search Engine Marketing companies have are using the same tactics to sell internet marketing solutions. They begin with “We want to LIST or SUBMIT your site to Google or major search engines. We can help you make sure that you are listed with local online directories. BLAH BLAH BLAH BULLSHIT BULLSHIT. It never stops.

I had an interesting call with a fella from ReachLocal recently that actually made me somewhat proud to be a holistic search engine marketing practitioner. With the new ReachCast product they are actually discussing techniques that I employ for my clients, such as content strategy and social media bookmarking. I have never been fond of the companies automated PPC bid management system, but minus the lack of focus on the clients website compared to the focus on the “Cast” page, I think ReachLocal has managed to standout as the ethical standard for large internet marketing firms. If they had the focus on 100% pricing transparency as it pertains to clicks they would see a huge drop in client complaints.

Another large internet marketing firm is Local.com. Local.com recently purchased the web design and content writing approach from Octane360. If you compare ReachLocal’s Reachcast service and Local.com’s Octane 360 offering, you will see that they are similar and equally overpriced compared to what a small agency like mine offers, but considering the offerings from the Yellow Pages companies, not a bad at all! Local.com has pushier sales people though.

I have seen way too many SEO firms claiming to be able to help my clients rank on Google, yet when you ask them about on-site and off-page content with links they go blank.  My company SMB SEO provides every client with Google or Woopra Analytics, Google AdWords PPC reports, and customized keyword Web Ranking Reports. Why? To create transparency by ensuring to the client that we are making progress on our commitment to achieving the desired result for the client. We also provide call tracking from CallMeasurement.com.

Search Engine Marketing is not like the yellow pages. It is not a commodity. SEOs must schedule activities such as articles, press releases, social media message distribution, and video content in order to maintain a results focused approach. Without a schedule ( insert transparency on what you are paying for ) they are just scanners who are charging you for the idea of the result, much like how yellow pages publishers continue to sell their antiquated products.

Don’t be a scammer.

There are only three reasons that folks call my company:

  • They need help because they don’t have the time to do SEO themselves.
  • They do no know how to fulfill the requirements for proper local SEO and PPC.
  • They want me to help teach them how to do it themselves.

Pretty simple, right?

Unfortunately for you, shady and sleazy companies ( typically those who are not socially responsible while often overpaying executives ) are the ones with resources to hire sales reps to solicit search marketing services. They often use industry lingo and confusing contracts and then back these iron clad contracts up with legal teams. Don’t get me wrong, pursuing profit is not a bad thing, so long as it allows the business to invest in paying more American workers and donating to American charities. You know, social responsible companies.

I am praying that business owners are smart enough to know better, but considering the type of companies that fall victim to the “$850.00/month” credit offered by some media companies like the yellow pages, these predatory practices will continue. For big companies the act of repairing reputations just takes a lil $.

Check out the bbb.org, ripoff report.com, or jobvent for examples.

If your SEO Company does not offer a planned schedule that includes a content strategy and measurement of successes, you are likely not going to get either of them. I recommend staying away from such a firm. A good start in finding a good search engine marketing expert is to search Google!


World’s Most Toughest Dictator On Video

November 21, 2010

I caught this video on G4 and wanted to share it.

Aren’t you thankful for our two party system of politics, is such a much better form of government?

 Did you also know that Hitler has an idol in todays age?

This guy needs to see the blade of a Wasp Knife.

Scares me to think that we haven’t demanded UN intervention?

Proud to be an American. Atleast I know I’m free. I sure won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me.

You?


The Worst Case of Sleazy Sales Tactics in History by SuperMedia

October 23, 2010

To some organizations business is a collaborative process. Grunts at the bottom share suggestions to decision makers at the top on policy related issues. Solutions to problems that impact the good will of clients and the success of the consultants or grunts. In other organizations, unless you are in a position of power, your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions are worthless. You are more or less an assembly line worker who can only impact the decisions that you have been given “authority” to control. Decisions such as what to do when you have a customer complaint.

Companies of the future are nothing-like companies of the past. The old ways of doing business just plain sucks compared to the “Google” or “Zappos” type business environments. You don’t find many mindless slaves who are told to do as they are told without permission for contribution of ideas for improvement.

Before I ended my employment with Idearc/SuperMedia in 2009, I happened to hire one of the best family law firms in the Dallas area to represent me for my Mother’s estate. My Mom died tragically in a motorcycle accident in October of 2008. While at the Idearc/SuperMedia office during this time, I witnessed first hand the questionable actions and backstabbing tactics on behalf of SuperMedia’s sales management team. This deeply disturbed me. I attempted to correct this problem as an employee but was ultimately pushed out the door by Bill Brewer, the new head honcho of Texas Sales at Fuller Drive in Irving Texas. Bill, in all his infinite wisdom, had been on the job for just 2 weeks.

On SuperMedia’s website they claim:

We stand side-by-side with plumbers and painters, landscapers and exterminators, roofers and dog groomers, movers and mechanics. We are the voice of house cleaners, window cleaners, carpet cleaners and pool cleaners. We are their catalyst of commerce.

So to resolve this longtime customer issue, I sent this long email last week to SuperMedia’s management team and public relations department decision makers.

from

Mike Stewart <dallasseoguru@gmail.com>

sender-time

Sent at 4:08 PM (GMT-05:00). Current time there: 8:11 AM. ✆

to

Andrew.Shane@supermedia.com

cc

scott.klein@supermedia.com,Peter.McDonald@supermedia.com,Sandra.Williamson@supermedia.com,Cody.Wilbanks@supermedia.com,mike@smbseo.com

date

Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 4:08 PM

subject

Hammerle Finley Law Firm – Potential Win Win Here?

mailed-by

gmail.com

Thanks for talking with me this past week. First, a quick recap of the Hammerle Finley Law Firm Verizon Yellow Pages advertising account, and then some suggestions for a good resolution for SuperMedia.

From the information I have gathered, HF has been a loyal customer and a big advertiser with the company for more than 25 years. They first started dealing with GTE Yellow Pages in 1984, basically at the infancy of lawyer advertising. Because they grew so quickly to a large and respected law firm in the community, a lot of area law firms followed their lead with advertising dollars. In fact, the sales reps often bragged to them about how they sold so many ads based on “what Hammerle was doing.” Pete Hammerle, the law firm’s Executive Director and marketing guru, actually was asked, and appeared, on a customer panel at several kickoffs/seminars that GTE put on for their marketing managers. It was a very good relationship, and HF placed the bulk of its marketing dollars in the company’s yellow pages. By 2007, HF had decided that it would drop all of its yellow page advertising with competitors and contract only with the Company (by then it had morphed into Idearc.) Considering the degree of fragmentation in the yellow pages market by this time, I think this was a very strong commitment on part of Pete.

Unfortunately, their move coincided with the dramatic drop-off in quality and ethical standards at Idearc. I saw that while I was on the inside, as you have seen me rant about on my websites. I know that I don’t have to convince you of the problems that mired down Idearc at that point.

Because they had concentrated all of their advertising in the Idearc books, HF was able to identify the problems with the Lewisville distribution of the book. Their telephone calls dropped off dramatically when the competitors’ new books came out. They found out that their clients had never received the 2007 Idearc book. Then, in June 2008, the 2007 book was delivered bundled with the 2008 Dallas Yellowpages on a “secondary distribution”. When Pete Hammerle complained, Idearc compounded the problem by denying that there was any delivery issue, and gave him a sheaf of delivery receipts containing forged signatures. (Note that Idearc publicly made it a selling point for later books that they had installed a tracking method to fix their delivery problems). By the time the 2007 book was delivered, it would only be in the marketplace for 60 days before being replaced by the 2008 book.

Then the Denton Yellowpages came out, and their advertising was so full of mistakes that it was worthless to the law firm. HF had paid for a solo forced tab, such as had appeared in countless years before it, but that year, for the first time, the salesman sold two forced tabs in the book – and the other forced tab was to another law firm that appeared before the HF tab in the book just a few pages in front (likely a coupon tab.) Some HF attorneys were completely left out of listings, and attorneys who had been removed from the advertising by HF were left in. They were invoiced $1500 more a month than the contract amount.

When HF refused to pay for the mistakes, their salesman, Scott Mobley, responded by saying they would be dropped from the North Collin County book. Left without any advertising in the area, HF went ahead and signed up for advertising with competitors. It turned out that Idearc left their ads in the book (albeit with many mistakes) and then invoiced them for the entire book.

The ultimate problem, however, came when their long-time Idearc salesman, Scott Mobley, started working with the head of the family law section for HF who was secretly plotting to take the law firm’s entire family law section, move across the parking lot, and start a competing firm. Rather than refuse to help this management employee steal half of the law firm’s business, or to disclose the manager’s plans to HF, Idearc’s sales rep Scott Mobley and his manager John Klein, who were assigned to Hammerle Finley’s account once again, schemed on how to get both accounts in the book. Two Idearc cohorts met with Pete Hammerle and said Scott Mobley was too busy and they were bringing in another salesman to work the HF account. They then proceeded to try to sell HF new advertising priced to include all of the attorneys in the Firm, including the 5 attorneys they knew were planning to leave. When the HF lawyer manager moved out with the entire section, it was in large part because he had Idearc advertising that was already under contract (signed while he was still an HF employee) and well under way.

(That last issue is one that is going to be raised in a lawsuit {and quite possibly on my sites} against Idearc and is going to lead to some really bad publicity at a sensitive time for the new company.)

Rather than resolve these complaints, Idearc sued HF.

With all of this history, I know you are wondering why I think there may be a way to salvage this long-time customer.

If it had been any other year, or any other top management, or if any type of ethical constraints placed on salespeople, then none of those events would have happened. When the complaint was received that the books weren’t delivered, then the company would have admitted that delivery problems were a huge issue that was being faced by the industry and given HF credit. When the misrepresentations and mistakes were brought to light, the company would have listened, evaluated them, and given a credit. The company would not have said it was pulling the ads, and then billed for them. And, most importantly, the company would not have allowed its employees to help a rogue manager commit fraud.

I’ve spoken with Pete at length, and I know that he is willing to believe that the old group and its philosophy is gone, and that the new company will be different. He is interested in the products and the new management direction at Idearc. He is a savvy marketer, and sees that there is a definite advantage to a web campaign that ties-in with the Firm’s website. He would like the door opened to talk to someone about a new contract. And where HF goes, so does the bulk of the legal advertising dollars in Denton County. He is willing to explore advertising, but he cannot do that while he is at odds with the company.

If you really want to show the world that the old Idearc is gone, and the new SuperMedia management is going in a successful direction, then I think you have a chance to do that here. For more than 20 years, Pete and HF were one of your biggest supporters and swung a whole lot of business your way. They are willing to do that again. When you do a risk-reward analysis, I think you’ll see that chasing a very difficult lawsuit (and facing a counterclaim) is bad business, and having a new contract, with new money, as a showcase for a new product is very good business. I’m willing to help you sell that to Pete and HF. Can you give me a response as soon as possible on this?

Cheers,
Mike Stewart

“Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.” — Albert Einstein

P.S. Hammerle has a new website http://www.Hammerle.com, the only remnants of the old site is the thumbnail on SuperPages.com. The thumbnail is of the Lawyers.com site. It would be great to get someone in “I-Care” to correct this. Just like past problems, it would be nice to move forward from that outdated website design, lol.

So, what was SuperMedia’s formal response? TALK TO OUR LEGAL DEPARTMENT. I don’t talk to legal departments. The response from SuperMedia doesn’t shock me. They had the opportunity to win a big on back. They screwed up, but they sit behind some God forsaken bullshit 4 page microfont contract and want to keep the philosophy that the company has no corporate conscience.

From Seth Godin’s Blog:
The corporate conscience

There isn’t one.

Corporations don’t have a conscience, people do.

That means that every time you say, “It’s just my job,” or “My department has a policy,” or “All I do is work here,” what you’ve done is abdicated responsibility–to no one.

It’s convenient and even comfortable to blame the anonymous actions of many working in concert on a evanescent brand or organization, but that starts you on an inevitable race to the bottom. Organizations have more power than ever before. They are better synchronized, faster, and possess more tools to change the economy and the people in it than ever before. And the only option available to the rest of us is for individuals to take responsibility (it’s not given) for what they do and how they do it.

The very same tools that permit organizations to synchronize their efforts are now available to you and to me. I guess the question is: will we use that power to humanize the systems we’ve created?

PS It’s not just about being a good citizen: when bad behavior comes back to hurt the company, it hurts you, too.

Considering that “Attorneys and Lawyers” account for 13% of the revenues for yellow pages publishers, I am sure once my new “Attorney Yellow Pages Advertising” website is complete, lawyers everywhere will have a new place to discuss these sort of injustices.

As a libertarian, not that it matters other than my addiction to all things political, I firmly believe that social media will be the deciding factor in how business is done. No longer do you get clients from name recognition alone. Reputation is vital to the success of any business entity. Activities like those mentioned above do not go unpunished. We have been forced to pick sides, whether it be Democrat or Republican, since the early days of voting. Social media and online reputation has thrown a wrench in the way the gears of business turn. You can not avoid your questionable actions. Future elections will be decided in social media, not yard signs and bullcrap TV ad promises.

My response to SuperMedia’s management teams response to this email? “How about telling the legal department to call me!”

looks like the old walking fingers is flipping us the bird, huh?

Otherwise, I will be seeing you folks here later. Standing by the good guys. You know, the big local law firm that has padded the pockets of your crony executives and sales reps for countless years only to be stabbed in the back by your so called “media consultants”.  Just a bunch of mindless cold calling commission sales reps. They (specifically all the new folks you hired to cut salary costs) don’t know the first thing about real media buying.

 


SuperMedia CEO Scott Klein Resigns Amongst Allegations of Fraud

October 5, 2010

Scott Klein SuperMedia CEO Resigns Amongt Allegations of FraudSuperMedia CEO Scott Klein “resigns” amongst allegations of fraud.

Recently, Verizon was sued by the Idearc bankruptcy trustee.  Questionable actions have led to the resignation of SuperMedia’s CEO Scott Klein. This is not the first time an executive from the company has resigned or been fired for questionable actions and activities. If you are a SuperMedia employee, just think, it can’t get any worse and the end on Scott Klein’s reign of terror on VIS/Idearc/SuperMedia is over.

Who is now in charge?

SuperMedia appoints Peter J. McDonald as interim CEO replacing Scott Klein. Douglas Wheat is chairman of the board. Scott Klein has officially “resigned.”

Hopefully they find someone who has experience in something other than takeovers, buyouts and commodity product sales.

Scott Klein’s absence may lead SuperMedia on a path to becoming “America’s Best Small to Medium-Sized Business Advertising Agency”, yet to do this they must approach the market with a holistic, service oriented, transparent product offering and embrace a subscription opt-in distribution model. My suggestion is to reduce the scope of the directories and take a magazine approach with incentives for advertisers. Incentives, not copied gimmicks such as the SuperGuarantee will give consumers what they want. If the company can incorporate the power of group buying, special offers, and distance themselves from a 12 month product life cycle they will succeed. This has potential to be a great step in the right direction for the company. Let’s see if the micro-management culture continues?

 

So, what about this new interim CEO?

Mr. McDonald has over 35 years’ experience in the yellow pages industry, most recently as President and Chief Operating Officer of RH Donnelley Corporation (now known as Dex One Corporation) from October 2004 to September 2008. He has previously held other senior roles in the industry, including Senior Vice President and President of Donnelley Media, President and Chief Executive Officer of SBC Directory Operations (now AT&T Directory Operations), President and Chief Executive Officer of Ameritech Publishing, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dontech Publishing, and General Manager of Donnelley Information Publishing. Mr. McDonald began his career at National Telephone Directories – one of the predecessor companies that are now SuperMedia – where he became Vice President and General Manager. Mr. McDonald has served on a number of boards, including those of RH Donnelly Corporation, CMGI Inc., and the Yellow Pages Publishers Association, where he served as Vice Chairman.

It is obvious that he will soon be working on the planned merger between DexOne and SuperMedia. Cost savings and the fact that the companies business models are so closely aligned, combined with the fact that the companies do not cross compete in most markets means that it is inevitable.

*edit* rumor is as of Nov. 17th Mike Pawlowski and David Bethea, the East and West EVP’s under Klein, are out starting 11/ 30/2010. They are being replaced by Dex people which would indicate that Supermedia management is being eliminated(any surprise?) in preparation for a merger with Dex.

When a monopolies are a goodthing, two crappy companies make one really crappy company… the DexOne/SuperMedia merger is necessary to cut expenses and both companies do not cross compete.


The Milgram Experiment in Crony CEO Capitalism, the Commonalities Between Enron and SuperMedia

September 11, 2010

Stop the Stock Scam by Crony Executives at SuperMedia and Verizon

In the early 1960’s Stanley Milgram, a scientist, wanted to uncover what kind of common characteristics existed in evil people. So he set up an experiment with an actor playing an experimental subject and a real experimental test subject. The real subject would ask a question to the subject (the actor) and then if the subject got the question wrong the real test subject would shock the actor with an “electric charge”, so long as the scientist, an authority,would reassure the test subject that what he/she was doing was the right thing. The electric charge was not real, the actor would scream out in pain as the test subject would increase intensity. Approx 50% of the test subjects tested would continue the shock treatment on the subject to the point of death.

This experiment is a classic example of what is wrong with evil corporations and crony executive leaderships. Test subjects or loyal sycophants will do anything, as long as they have the encouragement of the superior or authority figure.

For 10 years I was a participant in an industry that had an Enron style corporate culture. Regardless of what happened to clients, shareholders, and employees not in management, executives would continue to demand people stay the course. Executives, like Scott Klein the CEO of SuperMedia, had zero investment in the company. Employees who understand the business were told to “shut-up” and agree, accept, and fulfill the changes the new CEO was making. Regardless whether or not these changes are in the best interest of shareholders, employees, or the future of the organization.

Being a corporate leader requires the utmost ethical conscience, honesty, and fraud prevention and corporate crime policing.  Whistleblowers are to be respected and given a podium to speak from.

When the SEC began investigating Enron, Ken Lay reaffirmed traders and other employees that he and the company were frauded by “Andy” Fastow, yet the companies auditor Arthur Anderson was busy shredding evidence of wrongdoing. Ken Lay the Enron CEO shifted all responsibility to Andy, traders, the Government, and anyone else besides the executive leadership.

Jeffrey Skilling told employees to “invest your 401k” into Enron stock while he committed fraud. Skilling himself moved his money out of the stock. His Milgram Experiment was to keep influencing employees that what they were doing was right. Keep selling. Employees had faith in leadership. Leadership does not “fall on a knife” when corruption is discovered. When Scott Klein from Idearc met with employees, while being aware of his bankruptcy plans for the company, he assured employees and investors that the spin-off debt and stock arrangements were “strong.”

In Dallas, at a Fuller Drive meeting, Scott Klein the new CEO of Idearc Media reassured employees that the company was financially sound and had cash on the balance sheet few companies had. Instead of going into detail about the companies longterm plans, Scott Klein proceeded to pander to employees his “7 keys to success,”” a presentation better suited to High School kids.

Atleast, we now know how Mr. DeKlein likes his cocktails.

During the rise and fall of Enron, employees and investors were scammed for more than 20 billion. Just the same, Verizon scammed investors with Idearc stock, as well as FairPoint Communications and Hawaiian Telecom spin-offs. The fraud committed by Verizon, Idearc Executives, and SuperMedia’s CEO Scott Klein will be uncovered just like Enron in years to come.

I respect those who blow the whistle to protect the innocent. Those who are not in leadership or positions of influence. I respect the honest worker who gets up, turns on the pot of coffee and heads to work to do good. I respect the Good Guys, not those that put on a super cape and claim “Good Guy” status.

It is wrong to tell investors you have challenges with receivables yet turn around and increase the credit limitations to clients. It is wrong to tell investors good news while hiding the bad. This is manipulation and dishonest.

Milgram’s experiment emphasizes that leadership is ultimately responsible for corporate culture.

Leadership doesn’t get the axe. Take a look at the 545 folks who run this country. Do they get fired? They work for us voters, yet we can’t seem to fire them and they just blame the bad decisions on co-workers or subordinates.

It’s time to put your big boy britches on fellas. Grab your whistles, proxy statements and voting cards….. Make a CHANGE. It is in your hands. When people are crying out in pain, will you continue shocking them? Do you want the blood of the innocent on your hands? What will you do? I suggest it is time to grab and axe and start hacking away at the leadership team. Time for them to get fired!

(btw, I wonder why would an executive commit suicide? Enron’s executives did after the Justice Department began inquiring about illegal activities. Thousands of people faced with crimes go to prison or face social scrutiny, so why are white collar criminals so spineless that they become suicidal?)

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Why do crony executives hide behind “company policies”…

August 24, 2010

Were You Fired From SuperMedia Due To Executive or CEO Fraud?It is easy. Our company policy requires you to disclose wrongdoings. 

Take a look at Sea World. They knew the whale was more trouble than it was worth. A $75,000 suit later after discovering that executives tried to hide the fact that they knew about the potential troubles. 

All they do is blame it on the employees for not “filing a complaint” or grievance. Reminds me of the corporate culture I witnessed while working in “corporate America.” Executives know what happens. They just blame it on subordinates for not filing a complaint or reporting to HR. Yet I personally witnessed employees being pushed out, pressured, and terminated for “blowing the whistle” on wrongdoings. 

Easy for the executives. Let the minions fall on the sword. It is so easy to avoid it as the boss. Who is going to fire the boss? His team of circle jerks? 

Makes me sick and glad to be away from corporate politics. 

Seriously. I left High School and 2 months later joined Verizon Information Services. 9 years + later, I can attest that the only protections employees have is other employees. Yet I still have negative opinions about unions. I was one of the non union fellas who witnessed wage decreases and modest merit increases while unions negotiated cadillac contracts, pensions, and benefits packages. 

Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t. 

Guess the only option is to stop overpaying crony executives for working less hours than regular employees and to limit the ability for a single hiring manager to term an employee? But putting wrenches and restrictions on the workforce limits a companies ability to respond to the marketplace. 

So what is the solution? 

Culture. It begins at the top and finishes at how you train clients to agree, promote, and accept your ethics, mission, and positive working environment. Clients are trained to cheat by shady unethical consultants. Don’t allow executives to ignore wrongdoings. Don’t allow co-workers to do the same. 

Your company may not have great sales results, dividends to investors, or huge executive bonuses, but you can always take pride in your corporate culture. Atleast you won’t be ranked on JobVent as on of the worst places to work. 

Btw, notice how companies avoid the “blogosphere” by just posting press releases vs allowing comments? Another way to keep the community silent and from voicing concerns. I love exposing the tricks from so-called corporate reputation management professionals. 

Cheers, 

Mike 

Posted from WordPress for Android


Verizon Idearc SuperMedia Stock Fraud Scam discovered. How bankers and executives pad pockets!

July 30, 2010

Verizon’s Idearc SuperMedia Stock Fraud Exposed

Verizon SuperMedia Stock Scam LogoHere is a link to the Class Action Lawsuit filed against Verizon, JP Morgan etc for SuperMedia/Idearc Stock and Bankruptcy Fraud. Verizon, Idearc’s Executive’s including most of the same Verizon and now current SuperMedia leadership, committed a crime! I was a Verizon employee from 2000 to 2006, then Verizon Yellow Pages became Idearc. It all went downhill from there! Looked at the SEC filings and figured out what Idearc did. They may have gotten away with a perfect crime. I just can’t figure out how a bankruptcy court judge would allow it. But considering the compensation of Idearc’s bankruptcy lawyers in Dallas, and the history with the local federal bankruptcy judge… this looks worse than Bernie Madoff!

How to wipe out shareholders and pad the pockets of bankers, hedgefund managers, and executives 101:

Step 1: Create a public company with two accounts one public and one private.

Step 2: Load all debt to the public account at inception, but report all earnings as one entity, which makes most people believe the debt to asset ratio is okay.

Step 3: Put most of the money into the private account.

Step 4: File for bankruptcy and get rid of the public account.

Step 5: Do it again under a new name.

Very clever, but is it legal? The courts will have to decide. The company had $1.7 billion in assets when it filed for chapter 11 and that money was never factored in during the bankruptcy. On at least 3 separate occassions, Verizon has sold or spun off companies which they themselves overloaded with VERIZON debt. (Fairpoint Communications, Hawaiian Telecom, and Idearc Media) All 3 of these companies filed for bankruptcy resulting in massive losses to anyone who invested their hard earned money trusting the Verizon name. I have always been a strong believer in the “buyer beware” philosophy but Verizon’s hands are certainly NOT clean in all of this. Any individual investor who got caught up in this would be hard pressed to defend Verizon. The entire 2006 earnings is a fraud. Verizon declares $772 million net earnings minus any debt. Verizon then spins off Idearc and takes most of the cash and leaves Idearc with $72 million. Verizon set up two accounts in respect of its whole business: one to hold the cash (the $9 Billion that it borrowed), and one to hold the debt for the borrowing (Spinco). The latter it got rid of, but wrapped up in a pretty package, along about Thanksgiving time, called “Idearc” (vaguely reminiscent of a sort of Noah’s arc of supreme “wisdom”), and garnered with a handsome (though very perishable) dividend. Actually, it was a bomb, expressly timed (in the “tax sharing agreement”) to explode exactly at the two year mark necessary to avoid capital gain tax on the transaction.

Check the most recent income and cash flow statements and you will see that the company is an operating cash cow. But in 2009, I think management wanted the bankruptcy to succeed to get out of paying the debt, so they paid out huge sums to bankruptcy attorneys and for marketing consultants. Now that the bankruptcy is over, management owns shares of new stock and will have an incentive to cut costs and raise the stock price. Paulsen had an obvious incentive to provide a low ball value estimation to get the stock as cheaply as possible.

And then, when it did explode in hands of remote purchasers for value (relying on the Verizon name and integrity), and just as was certainly predictable, Verizon, acting like a total stranger, simply walks away. It might have stopped; it might have looked, and thought of something – thrown a blanket over the victim of its own actions – it could have guaranteed the bonds; taken a preferred issue to pay them off, made a short term loan to help its own telephone book get through the recession – many things…but no. The causal agent of the catastrophe acted just like the driver who hits the pedestrian – 437,000. of them in this case – and just goes on driving down the road….the SEC POLICE nowhere to be seen. It is likely the low point of the American securities system and the New York Stock Exchange. Current participants in this don’t want to tell it. History certainly will.

Just in case you wondered:

Counsel to the Debtors  (Idearc) – Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. 2200 Ross Avenue, Suite 2800 Dallas, TX 75201-2784 T: 214-855-8000 F: 214-855-8200 http://www.fulbright.com

Counsel to Unsecured Creditors – Haynes and Boone, LLP 2323 Victory Avenue, Suite 700 Dallas, TX 75219 T: 214-651-5000 F: 214-651-5940 http://www.haynesboone.com

The Debtors’ actual cash balance as of July 31, 2009 was $616 million.

and check this out: http://www.belltelretirees.org/images/stories/docket_29_-_supermedias_motion_to_dismiss_reply_brief.pdf

Latest update: Verizon Sued for Fraud http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-16/verizon-sued-by-idearc-creditors-claiming-2006-spinoff-led-to-bankruptcy.html


Corporations must learn lessons too. Does your CEO care?

June 12, 2010

Former BP ad campaign is now our nightmare.

I was considering posting my thoughts about the Gulf Oil Spill Crisis and BP.

Found out today via Facebook that someone else knows what’s up!

Instead of me offering my opinion, take a look at Paul Dumas website at Optimized Local Search, and his comments related to BP and an unlikely but practical solution to the Gulf Oil Spill.

Seems that we forget BP is a foreign company.  Do you think BP’s executives are handling the situation correctly?

After reading Paul’s thoughts, do you think he is right? Do you think BP = YellowCrooks?

Letting a massive oil company self-regulate its own environmental disaster might not be the way to go.

It is one thing to fail to admit when one of your executives has a drinking problem, it is another to lie about how bad things are.  Is BP trying to get the Gulf Coast to drink oil flavored Kool-Aid? Let’s hide how bad things really are.

Sounds like they have a great future. Time for us to hold corporations, companies, and executives accountable for actions that not only harm investors, but also the general public interest.

That’s my 3 cents.


You are the company you keep, SEC investigating SuperMedia and Paulson Hedge Fund relationship

May 3, 2010

They always say, “You are the company you keep.” When Scott Klein started working on preparing to wipe away Verizon debt and rob shareholders of retirements and bondholders from coupon payments for holding the bonds, who else did he choose other than John Paulson’s questionable hedge fund. The same hedge fund that helped bundle packages of investments, and then shorted them while declaring them good securities.

Is Paulson also a Yellow Crook?

Paulson bought 45% of SuperMedia common stock at $17.00 per share. But if you recall they had an initial offer of $13.00 per share. Paulson raised his bid just enough to cover the other bidder on the company. I don’t recall who made the initial offer. Needless to say at around $44-$46.– per share, Paulson could sell all shares of the company and make a substantial gain.

This poses a question, was Paulson the hedge fund that was NAKED SHORT SELLING IDEARC STOCK? Just like in other cases, did he jump back in to double dip again?

What do you think?


Verizon and J.P. Morgan Class Action Lawsuit for Investment Scam

April 17, 2010

The Latest Class Action suit for SCAM by Verizon & J.P. Morgan.

http://ping.fm/oKCcz

Well, I am sure you will see a few more regarding Paulson shorting Idearc then buying them up out of bankruptcy. Naked short sellers and hedge funds helped drive the company into bankruptcy (although it was pre-planned and Idearc never technically couldn’t afford debt payments.)  Paulson just got caught shorting a company he basically advised and guided. Wall Street bankers are getting bail outs. Goldman Sachs is in trouble and just got served a nice lawsuit. Paulson, who now owns over 17% equity in Verizon Yellow Pages publisher SuperMedia, is also “implicated” in the latest lawsuit regarding Goldman Sachs and investment fraud.

You run around with thieves and crooks…. that makes you a thief and a crook! Scott Klein is learning from the best crooked Wall Street bankers. Just take a look at his latest round of bonuses, stock options, and incentives for “emerging out of bankruptcy” that was created via fraud from Verizon and the same executive team that Scott Klein is now surrounded with. Here are a few more examples of golden parachutes.

Yet SuperMedia employees either agree with me and are labeled as “disgruntled” or are too damn stupid to see fraud when it is right in front of them. Or they are too damn scared to speak up!

visit the forum dedicated to ending the sales and executive fraud at SuperMedia for more discussion!


Corporate Ethics and High Pressure Sales Environments

April 11, 2010

“an ethical company will in the short run and in the long term be a better institution. . . . Ethical behavior is simply good business.”

You can create a Company Code of Conduct and have all your employees sign it. Does not mean that your company is ethical. You can also create a Code of Ethics, this also does not mean your company is an ethical one.

Ethics begin at a corporations mid-level management team. If your management team has been corrupted and pressured to pressure the “system”, this is when ethics challenges will begin to impact the future of your organization.

Some industries don’t have honest ethical leadership at the top of the organization. Remember the mortgage fraud from Countrywide Mortgage and the CEO? What about Enron? Or Toyota for hiding information related to faulty gas pedals? Greedy CEOs and Executives may make it hard for managers to follow “a good conscience”.  The future of any organization and industry is not in the appearance of an ethical corporate culture, but in the philosophy and acceptance of a ethical corporate culture. Ethics catch up with you (unless you bailout before they have been discovered, as is the case with SuperMedia’s corporate fraud to investors and executive compensation fraud.)

Having been an employee of an organization that was ethical, GTE/Verizon Directories, and then seeing the company move the opposite direction from ethics as IdearcMedia/SuperMedia, I can tell you that it is a relief to no longer be associated with a business that has a horrible reputation.

Idearc/SuperMedia has by far the worst reputation on JobVent, RipOffReport.com,  ComplaintsBoard.com, BBB.org (see below), and countless other websites. Customer service is a cost center. Product fulfillment is outsourced for margins. Talented and ethical consultants are being fired for activities and not forcing clients into products that are overpriced and fail to meet expectations. The actions from the leadership team demonstrate the worst in corporate ethics. An unethical leadership team rewards itself with bonuses, raises, and short and longterm stock rewards not based on results, earnings, or growth, but based on the opportunity for a buyout or change in control for what is a dying business model.

So with all the new pressure from Scott Klein as CEO from SuperMedia and coercion to sell clients on misguided and unachievable results from a dying product that has prices higher than ever and competition like never before do to SuperMedia in just a few short years?

Well, SuperMedia’s BBB.org rating was revoked for the company nationwide due to the sales fraud and lack of results in October of 2009!

hey…. that was the month that I left the company!

SuperMedia Review at BBB.org YellowCrooks.com

Regarding cancelling advertising contracts SuperMedia’s Terms and Conditions states the following:

“SECTION 28 REVISIONS AND CANCELLATIONS – If I wish to revise or cancel my advertising in the issue(s) specified on the cover section of this Application, I must do so by giving written notice to Publisher at Idearc Media Corp., P.O. Box 610609, D/FW Airport, TX 75261 or by fax to (972) 453-6764 no later than 14 days from the Date of the Application or by the applicable close date, whichever is earlier. For subsequent issues,I must give written notice of revisions or cancellation to Publisher at the address or fax number set forth in this Section 28 by the close date for such issues, which date may be obtained by calling Publisher’s Customer Service Office at (800) 555-4833.

“SECTION 29 AUTOMATIC RENEWAL – If Publisher does not receive written notice of cancellation in accordance with Section 28 and Publisher elects to publish my advertising in subsequent issues of the Directory,I agree to pay Publisher as provided in Section 25 and that the then current version of the terms and conditions will apply to such advertising. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Publisher will have no obligation to automatically renew my advertising or to notify me that my advertising will not be renewed. Limited inventory advertising will not be automatically renewed and requires a new Application and applicable addendum.”

If you choose to cancel your contract, the procedures above must be followed.

It might be a good idea to include this in the SuperMedia Perfect Sales Pitch?

Instead of going back to the drawing board to recreate a business model that leverages the best local small business advertising sales team and discovering a means of evolving the organization into a lower margin service business model, they chose to permit a culture of sleezy sales.

I remember listening to a discussion by my executive team at Idearc regarding the collapse of Polaroid.  They discussed the fact that consumers no longer wanted instant Polaroid pictures and rather preferred the quality of digital pictures that required a trip to a photo shop.  Even today instant cameras are losing market share to cell phones with cameras.  Technology evolves, so do industries. Your cheese gets moved, you evolve and go find new cheese or move with it. All the while you maintain ethics and retain ethical employees and loyal customers. Do you practice what you preach? Sounds more like Washington and less like Main Street if you ask me. Cheating on your wife while asking to be re-elected. Paying for high dollar hookers on the company petty cash account? Bankers being rewarded for fraud and bankrupting companies and investors.

The company I spend over 9 years at chose not to evolve. In 2000, I joined Verizon Yellow Pages 2 months out of high school at the Texas Call Center (TCC) in Irving Texas. I won a my first Prestige Award and was on my way to earning a second (would have been the first to achieve such a feat) when I was promoted to local sales at 4500 Fuller Drive in Irving Tx. I began my career with Janet Bro and Scott Laver. I was the guy who could not be promoted to an outside sales position because I was too young to be insured to drive a company car. I won 3 President’s Awards as an ethical sales consultant for Verizon/Idearc over the course of my 9 year career. I was the only person to accomplish this in Texas Sales. In 2006 Kathy Harless changed the tune of the company. Employees feared change. I embraced change. The next big change was Scott Klein. After just a few months at the helm of the company, it was quickly discovered by employees that the company had taken many steps back and none forward.

The failure of SuperMedia begins with new crony corporate leadership and horrible ethics combined with a high pressure sales environment among a rapidly declining industry.

Supervisors

What this discussion of rewards and objectives ultimately points to is the critical role that supervisors play in determining the ethical character of a company. In a survey of more than 300 managers by the National Institute of Business Management, the behavior of an employee’s superiors was ranked as the second most important factor in influencing decision making. This was surpassed only by a personal code, and outstripped the behavior of one’s peers, formal company policy and the ethical climate in the industry.

As a result, another major challenge in institutionalizing ethics in a business is to be particularly sensitive to the danger of supervisors exerting the wrong kind of pressure. TI’s Skooglund observes that “If you’re going to have the kind of pressure that’ll make decent people go wrong, you’ll find it in the employee-supervisor relationship.” Relating this issue directly to other major challenges just mentioned, Skooglund notes that “there are two ways that the employee-supervisor relationship can really go wrong: 1) if you set goals that realistically cannot be met, and 2) if you have an environment where the employee is made to feel that failure is totally unacceptable.” When the cost of failure is too high, people feel enormous pressure to compromise both their own values and the company’s stated standards. And for all practical purposes, it’s an employee’s supervisor who determines the cost of failure.

Corporate objectives

The matter of rewards, however, brings us full circle and back to the issue of “cheating for the company” which opened this article. After all, what employees are rewarded for is one of the main factors that determines how strong the temptation will be for them to bend or break the rules–or even the law. The more that employees are rewarded simply for meeting quarterly objectives, the stronger that temptation will be. “Employees learn very quickly what they really get stroked for,” points out TI’s Skooglund, “and if the rewards come solely from shipping product or making financial forecasts, then that’s the drumbeat they’re going to march to. And that’s a tough problem for any company’s ethics.”

However, the greatest ethical danger occurs when raises, bonuses and promotions depend on unrealistic objectives. As Gary Edwards of the Ethics Resource Center explains, “When objectives are set improperly–too aggressively or without respect for a particular unit’s inability to meet a goal that may be reasonable for the corporation overall–all kinds of unethical conduct can be generated.” Another major challenge in incorporating ethical values into an organization, then, is to set objectives which stretch employees to the full extent of their capacities but do not push them to the point where they’ll be tempted to meet them by wrongdoing.

* Source:http://www.ethicsandbusiness.org/corpeth.htm

I have said before that to next logical step for SuperMedia was for sales to become local search engine marketing consultants. Scott Klein could not have done a better job of accomplishing the opposite. Corporate decisions that are based on the SPMD Stock Price and not a focus on training, fulfillment, and return on investments to clients. Instead of the stock being a good purchase longterm, the company changes name, declares bankruptcy, lies about fraud, and uses sales fraud and collections as a means of pumping up the value only for executives to jump off a sinking ship. Sounds like a great business plan if you are Bernie Madoff.

Meanwhile, if you are a media rep and looking for the next logical step to feeding your family, earning a living that you can be proud of, and working with the best small business owners in Dallas Fort Worth give me a call. I am working with a few investors on a creating a business model that rewards consultants for learning, then providing holistic search engine marketing services to small businesses. You won’t be able to take the time to make 80 appointments in a day. You don’t have to log fake activities to keep your job. It begins with working for yourself and not corporate America. It begins with transparency for the client. It begins with ethics.

Just to give you a hint:

Aside from Local SEO services that require years of study, there is a component to local search engine marketing that does not take brains. It is an effort. Something very basic, but is typically returned in value to the client in less than a few weeks.

This is a global search:
Branded Term or National Search vs Local Search

This is a local search:

Local Search vs National Search Optimization Dallas

When people search Google for local information, you can help small businesses across America show up in Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) . I am offering you the opportunity to open up an office in your area providing these services. You will have a fulfillment department, access to a talented web development team, and get the best local SEO advice from the Dallas SEO Guru.

Webformance is working hard to provide the best value in Internet marketing for local Dallas area businesses. Who does the same in your area? Will you?

Imagine charging a client $300.00 one time and it impacting his or her business for years! Imagine being paid a 30-50% commission on these “sales” but never having to worry about the value for the client? Imagine a clean conscience.


SuperPages.com ad distribution blogs, I wonder who is responsible?

April 10, 2010


Take a look at the links and blog posts below, who do you think is responsible for distributing this content?

A & S Whitestone Nursery, Whitestone, NY : bird baths
A & S Whitestone Nursery, www.superpages.com Whitestone, NY, supermedia, African Violets, Animal Traps, Aquatic Plants, Baskets & Planters, Bedding Plants, Bird Baths, Bird Food & Supplies, Blooming Plants, Bonsai, Bonsai Trees, Books, 
bird baths – http://bird-bath.net/
Kleen Kars Inc, Springfield, MA | Cars and Trucks Blog
By admin
Kleen Kars Inc www.superpages.com Springfield, MA Supermedia, Auto Financing & Loans, Truck Dealers, Auto Dealers, Used Cars,
Cars and Trucks Blog – http://carsandtrucksblog.com/
mcgowan’s Construction , Memphis, TN | Clothes Hangers
By admin
mcgowan’s Construction www.superpages.com Memphis, TN Supermedia * Additions , Architectural Services , Attics , Basements ,
Clothes Hangers – http://hangerscenter.com/
Lara Van Derschelden DDS Bothell, WA | Endodontics
By nunum
Van Derschelden Lara – Gentle Touch Dental Grp www.superpages.com Super Media, bond Treatments Braces Bridge Work Bridges cancer screening check-up Caps Clear.
Endodontics – http://endodontics.myblogtrade.com/
Zarria’s Cleaning Service, Atlanta, GA | carpet cleaning atlanta
By ronaldkonruff
Zarria’s Cleaning Service, www.superpages.com Atlanta, GA, supermedia, Accident Cleanup, Apartment Cleaning, Apartments & Condominiums, Area Rug Cleaning, Attics, Baseboards, Basements, Bathrooms, Bathrooms & Kitchens, Bedrooms, Blinds, 
carpet cleaning atlanta – http://cleaningatlantacarpet.blogspot.com/
Capital Insurance Agency Trenton, NJ « Motor Insurance
Capital Insurance Agency www.superpages.com Supermedia, Personal & Commercial Automobile Insurance, Accident Insurance Annuities Auto Insurance Claims Processing Collision Insurance Combination Policies Commercial Vehicle Insurance 
Motor Insurance – http://motorinsurance.tk/

I wonder whether the folks at “SkunkWorks” (or whatever they call the creative department at the poor company these days) know what is going on here? The massive amount of keyword rich domains taking advantage of this SuperPages.com created content is insane. Just setup a Google Alert for “SuperMedia” and you can see for yourself.

I know that they are getting a good amount of links from this activity, so maybe it is a trade-off they have no control over…. Kinda reminds me of Google using Yellow Pages for citations, but telling Yellow Pages to buy AdWords for traffic. Pretty funny post from a Local SEO about it.

I guess a link is a good link. Unless it has a malicious “links” intent. (BlackHat SEO Discussion in Dallas October 15th)

Dallas Search Engine Marketing

Although, I have always been known to say, “BlackHat, WhiteHat, Grey Head SEO.” Don’t believe all the ramblings about black and white folks. If you practice a holistic approach you consider all the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. Black Hat simply refers to not being a strict follower of “Google’s Guidelines, Terms, and Conditions” related to websites, content, etc.

Now, back to the blog posts with SuperPages.com content:

I am sure this was not outsourced to India as well? Considering they still think SEO is all about PageRank like it is some sort of SEO measurement worth discussing. They are not much worse than Yellow Pages organizations who fail to offer it because it takes time and isn’t something you can send to India or have 1 person “attempt” to manage 100+ accounts. When do they have time for ad testing,  content writing, link building, conversion and strategy? How many clients spend more than 500 per month and just getting over priced PPC management using outdated S.A.A.S like BidCenter, a tool originally built by this company they purchased named Inceptor years ago, …. which btw was not custom built for the level of true software as a service scale-ability needed to properly manage campaigns. Google’s MyClientCenter along with Editor are the best tools for massive scale-ability of paid search campaigns.  Longtail keyword build-outs are not something AdWords Resellers know how to “service,” just like actually doing customized bidding for broad, phrase, and exact match bids. Hey, atleast for clients that want to pay even more they still have the Inceptor.com website up!

Time to insert a random plug:

If you want expert Google AdWords PPC training, I recommend you attend the Google AdWords Seminars for Success2-Day AdWords PPC Training Course in Dallas

When: October 26th & 27th, 2010
Time: 9am – 5pm (registration starts at 8:30)

Where:
Embassy Suites Dallas – Market Center
2727 Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, Texas, 75207

*for future Dallas Search Marketing Training and Networking events near Dallas, just visit www.DFWSEM.org regularly.

OK, now sorry for that brief ADD/ADHD induced promotional plug…. where was I?

Oh yeah… I forgot.

We should not be forced to accept crappy PPC advertising service for a outragious price!

Here are the options on how to price pay per click ppc advertising management services from most providers.

 

FYI, this was originally a blog post that I never posted but decided today to modify and include a plug for Brad… why? When you attend training courses by experts like him, you really learn things that corporate trainers and wet behind the ears college grads making $12.00 per hour just don’t get!  Big PPC resellers tend to start shrinking the number of people, outsourcing to India, or forcing hundreds of accounts per “expert” to manage. How do you build an account properly dedicating it to someone? Corporate Crooks and big CEO pay doesn’t improve the situation. END RANT.

I myself, and folks in my organization, have attended Brad Geddes Google AdWords Seminars for Success and strongly recommend it for any of you folks working at SuperMedia expecting to continue a career in Search Engine Marketing.

Give me a call for details on a discount or promo code for the training!

v7ndotcom elursrebmem Just a few more days fellas. Glad I could lend a hand just too bad I was late to the party. Someone needs to build a directory of “internet challenge archives or something!?

I really am a nice guy…

aren’t I?


It is bonus time once again for YellowCrook Scott Klein

April 7, 2010

SuperMedia CEO Pay up Millions while company struggles.

SuperMedia CEO Pay up 30% while company struggles to evolve.

SuperMedia’s Employee Union Members and Non-Union Members want to ask other Yellow Pages Industry Executives if they believe that formerly Idearc Media, the spun off and quickly bankrupt yellow pages publisher of the Verizon Yellow Pages, now called SuperMedia, CEO Scott Klein is fit for his job and whether he has earned his million dollar per year CEO Salary, recent 2 million dollar bonus, recent 9 million dollar longterm stock incentive and 1 million dollar short term stock incentive that he gets to keep once the company is purchased in a deal he struck behind closed doors with Hedge Fund Company Paulson?
SuperMedia purchases Beach Boys for YPA

To SuperMedia Mr. Tom Rogers….  do you have a clue how angry the sales force of the company is? They are scared and angry. Many have been with the company for 20 years and some in the local advertising industry even longer. Since the days of Bell Atlantic and Nynex. You are the CEO of Tivo. You must be paying attention to Google TV, the iPad, Local Search Verticals like Zillow who now offer rental information, and many other great ideas? Why is SuperMedia only selling products that need unmeasurable research from industry sponsored firms like YPA and the Burke study? Do you honestly think the company can afford to pay debt obligations paying sales reps for fraud? Why does Klein continue to manipulate the companies pay plan while planning golden parachute escape with a simple “Change in Control?”

Local Search is not product it is service. Yellow Pages is still used heavily in rural areas and many suburban areas. Do you think the SuperGuarantee subscriptions and impact is sufficient to sustain the company into the future? Why have all of Scott Klein’s internet directors left the company. They do not want to work for him.

If this was not a deal struck in the dark, why have other executives in both local search or yellow pages not follow suit? Why has the man Paulson put on the companies Board of Directors not spoken up? Oh, that is because it is not just the CEO who is raiding the coffers… it happens to be the companies Executives and the board of directors also gets a nice bonus in the process.

I say employees show concern at the next board meeting. I look forward to meeting you there. As a shareholder of the company I am asking other shareholders to voice concerns. If you knew of the corporate frauds of Enron, Bernard Madoff, Acorn, or Countrywide Mortgage ahead of time would you speak up?

Join the conversation at www.YellowCrooks.com

Form 8-K for SUPERMEDIA INC.

5-Apr-2010

Change in Directors or Principal Officers

Item 5.02 Departure of Directors or Certain Officers;
Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.

On March 30, 2010, the Human Resources Committee of the Board of Directors of SuperMedia Inc. (the “Company”) established the performance objectives and other terms of the Company’s 2010 Short Term Incentive Plan (the “2010 STI Plan”) pursuant to the Company’s 2009 Long Term Incentive Plan. The 2010 STI Plan provides for a payment of incentive compensation to each of the Company’s executive officers and to other eligible employees. These incentive compensation payments are determined by the Company’s achievement of specified performance metrics for 2010, based on: (i) EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), which comprises 70% of the total performance opportunity; and (ii) total published revenue, which comprises 30% of the total performance opportunity.

Each of the performance objectives will have a threshold, target, and maximum level of payment opportunity. Achievement of 100% of the performance metrics will result in award payouts equal to the target awards. At 90% achievement for EBITDA and 92% achievement for total published revenue, which are the minimum thresholds for award payouts, award payouts will be equal to 25% of the target awards. At 120% achievement for EBITDA and 110% achievement for total published revenue, which are the maximums, award payouts will be equal to 200% of the target awards. If achieved, awards will be paid in cash during the first quarter of 2011.

The target awards under the 2010 STI Plan for each of the Company’s named executive officers are set forth below:

Named Executive Officer Target Award

Scott W. Klein – Chief Executive Officer $ 1,000,000

Samuel D. Jones – Executive Vice President, Chief Financial
Officer and Treasurer $ 337,500

Frank P. Gatto – Executive Vice President – Operations $ 280,000

Michael D. Pawlowski – Executive Vice President – Sales $ 262,500

KEY INFORMATION for SUPERMEDIA from HOOVERS.com
DUNS Number 787911986
Doing Business As Verizon Drectories Disposition
Company Type Public – NASDAQ (GM): SPMD
Location Type Headquarters
Year of Founding or Change In Control 2006
KEY NUMBERS
Fiscal Year-End December
Sales (mil.) $2,512.0
1-Year Sales Growth (15.5%)
Net Income $8,257.0
1-Year Net Income Growth 4,412.0%
Total Employees 5,500
1-Year Employee Growth (9.8%)
Employees At This Location 10
KEY PEOPLE
Scott W. Klein CEO (Mr. Let Me Rob My Way Out The Door)
Frank P. Gatto EVP Operations
Samuel D. (Dee) Jones EVP, CFO, and Treasurer (Mr. Lets Not Tell Investors About Raising Credit Limits and Collections)
Dave O. Bethea EVP Sales (Mr. Drunken Fight Guy)
Sandra L. Henjum EVP Transformation and Marketing (Mrs. Heading Jumping Director)
SuperMedia — then called Idearc — was spun off from Verizon Communications in 2006.
HISTORICAL FINANCIALS
Income Statement
Year Revenue ($ mil.) Net Income ($ mil.) Net Profit Margin ($ mil.) Employees
Dec 2009 2,512.00 8,257.00 328.7% 5,500
Dec 2008 2,973.00 183.00 6.2% 6,100
Dec 2007 3,189.00 429.00 13.5% 7,200
Dec 2006 3,221.00 772.00 24.0% 7,400
Dec 2005 3,374.00 1,025.00 30.4% 7,100
Dec 2004 3,600.00 — — 7,400
Dec 2003 3,675.00 895.00 24.4% —
Dec 2002 3,760.00 1,095.00 29.1% —
Dec 2001 3,831.00 1,203.00 31.4% —
Notice how he is using sales fraud and collections to pump up the numbers for the company?
This one was requested to be removed. I later learned via email that it was true. I was contacted by SuperMedia to remove it. Someone lied to me. Said that they are filing a suit. I have emails that state otherwise.

Company information:
SuperMedia
United States

I have read many reviews of SuperMedia/Superpages.com from many angry customers that feel that have been ripped off,
but have not really read any solid explanations of why Idearc/Superpages.com is a rip off.

My name is Lisa, I work for the company in Everett, WA and have done the research to know why. It is my hope that by divulging
the truth someone will be able to use the information to take action against this company. I’ve made a lot
of money selling worthless advertising and this is my attempt to make it right.

First off, it’s important to know that SuperMedia/Superpages.com employs a very specific sales tactic that they
refer to as “Salesology.” This is the very basis of all training and as an employee of the company, if you do
not follow this method, you will be repromanded. Salesology is taught to all employees by Jay Hughes
(www.salesologyonline.com). Utilizing this sales method, most customers don’t even realize that they just purchased
advertising. Here’s how it works:

1) A Business receives a cold call and they are asked if it’s “a bad time.”
2) Rep tells them that “We have people in your area looking for (fill in blank) in your area, are you
currently taking on more work/new customers?”
3) Then we ask how much more work they can handle and how much they make per job. Multiply the amount of work by
the profit per job and that’s their gap. Let’s say an Electrical Contractor averages $500 per job and can take on
10 more of those per month. “So, if I were able to help you close that $5000 gap per month in your business,
would it be fair to ask for $500 on the back-end in return?”
4) Customer says “of course.”
5) Almost no explanation is given on how we are going to get them this promised work. We get GTI
(General telemarketing international) on the phone who records the customer agreeing to a 12-month
contract. They are told we’re doing this “To enter them into our database.” Most people have no idea
what just happened, but this is 100% legally binding. Our only goal is to get them through GTI.

In the initial training, they state we’re to find the gaps in small to medium sized businesses and help
them grow. The funny thing is that no matter what state their business is in, no matter what they sell, how
much they make per sale…it’s all the same. The soloution to every business is a minimum $500/month program to
meet their objectives. They don’t really encourage anyone to sell over a $500/month plan because that
requires a signed contract in lieu of a GTI recording. If you sell less than $500 you’re scoffed at, even if the
business doesn’t need it.

So, what does a business get for $500/month? We are told to tell businesses that we are selling “SuperLeads.”
However, these are nothing more than clicks with a theoretical conversion rate. Their collateral even shows how
this works. So, for $500 worth of SuperLeads a business will get 125 clicks with the minimum of $4/click (some
categories are more). They state that, on average, for every 5 clicks, a customer will actually make a call
to the business. $500 should then relate to 25 calls in a month. Again, this is how we are trained and this
is what the collateral we can send out states.

If the above actually worked, then it wouldn’t be a bad deal. However, most businesses will not get any calls
for their $500 per month. Why? Most (at least 90%) of these clicks aren’t even from SuperPages.com, Google, Yahoo
or anything you’ve ever heard of. They are from obscure partner sites that pull out a single keyword from the
business and get the needed clicks to bill out $500. As an example, let’s say a kitchen contractor installs sinks.
Let’s say someone googles “sink holes.” A few wrong clicks and the contractor is out $4. Again, at least 90%
of these clicks have nothing to do with what a business does. The customer doesn’t have any access to
these click reports, and there are no audits done to ensure it’s actually working at all. The fact is that
most sales are made to oversaturated markets where businesses will not get any return on their
investments. We can sell to the same type of business in the same cities as much as we want and tell everyone
“we have people looking for your services.” In all actuality, Superpgaes.com gets little traffic, and if a business
gets even one call per month for $500 they are doing better than average.

Next, is there click fraud going on? (i.e. the company clicking on it’s own ads to turn a profit.) I’m not 100%
sure here. We used to be able to see the IP addresses that were clicking on the ads, but not any more.
In the past, I did random sample searches to cross reference the IP addresses by location and a large amount
of the IP addresses were not even in the same state as the busnisses. Many of these IP addresses seemed to
track back to where Idearc has physical offices. I have asked many times if I click on someone’s ad from work, will
they be charged a click and have always been told no. I’m not so sure about that.

We also sell postcard mailers. When these came out I was excited to sell something that actually works. We are
told to tell customers they can expect a 0.5% – 2.0% return of them. I’ve heard of a few businesses getting
work from these, but I also know of businesses that have sent out 10, 000 cards (at $5000) with zero return.
The artwork on these is generally poor, as they have the sales reps do the basic design and ad copy for
them with very little training. It’s mostly a joke to see just how bad they come out. Many contractors have
actually gotten in trouble from the State because License numbers have to be on their ads. This also is not
audited.

SuperMedia Complaints – The Truth About SuperMedia

Review all Idearc Media complaints

SuperMedia

Posted: 2009-10-21 by IdearcEmployee
The Truth About SuperMedia
Complaint Rating:  75 % with 4 votes


SuperMedia Executives Find Financial Riches in Former Bankrupt Idearc’s Treasury. Crony Capitalism

March 19, 2010

http://punditkitchen.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/political-pictures-corporate-bailout.jpgGreat way to start out the description of the new “Long Term Incentive Plan Stock Unit Awards” with Departure of Certain Officers, and the repeated words “Change In Control” that they seem to emphasize. SuperMedia mid level managers, sales consultants, investors, and Board of Directors members (other than the Chairman whom is also the CEO!) need to really consider, do these executives, many of whom are directly responsible for the companies bankruptcy and pitched the 9 billion dollar debt to investors in the first place, deserve additional incentives for doing nothing to turn the business deep revenue  declines around?

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The SuperChallenge for Scott Klein CEO of SuperMedia.

March 15, 2010

Let me ask you a question. When you see a local search marketing company with 3.8 Billion dollars in revenue shrink down to 2.5 Billion, from 2005 to 2010, among what should be a growth business, when more and more local businesses startup and more and more local search options are available to choose from, who is to blame for the companies inability to adapt? Obviously, the GTE and telco local search ( print or web based ) dominance is no more. Reachlocal.com, one of the fastest growing local search companies is doing better.

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A SuperPrediction on the Future of SuperMedia and Dex One – Merger?

March 11, 2010

update on the Merger click below:

SuperMedia merges with Dex One

According to Media Post, for the first time in history digital ad revenues is set to top print in 2010.

The long-predicted tipping point has arrived, with total U.S. digital advertising and marketing revenues set to surpass print revenues in 2010, according to a new study from Outsell, a consulting and research group serving the information industry.

This prediction, based on Outsell’s annual survey of over 1,000 U.S. advertisers and marketers in December 2009, heralds one of the most important symbolic milestones in the history of online advertising.

Altogether, U.S. advertisers and marketers plan to spend $368 billion in 2010, Outsell found — up 1.2% from about $364 billion in 2009. Within the 2010 figure, 32.5% ($119.6 billion) will go to digital, versus 30.3% ($111.5 billion) for print.

Savvy investors might have noticed that SuperMedia is now reporting all revenues lumped together for the companies print and electronic product., something that competitors are not doing. This is believed to be a plan by CEO Scott Klein to cover-up the fact that electronic revenues are not growing as they believed they would and the company no longer has a shining star among the 20%+ year over year declines in total revenues. In my opinion it is a sinking ship destined to end up at the bottom of the sea. Online revenue growth was previously something the company wanted to show off, so now they are only reporting overall revenues to Wall Street investors so they cannot determine that their .com product offering (or lackthereof) is suffering. Do you think they are hiding something? As an insider to both SuperMedia and Local Search Marketing, I can attest that this rumor is most likely true.

All Hands Abandon Ship.......

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