Article

When is an exclusive advertising contract not an exclusive advertising contract?

18-Oct-2012

When you sign a contract with Community Sport Ltd, apparently!

A property letting agency recently contacted us for help, after a representative of Community Sport Ltd offered them an exclusive deal to advertise in a publication for the leisure department of a local council. She even had an open letter from the council encouraging business to support the magazine.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? So, in good faith, our client agreed a price, an exclusive price, (to which VAT was later added and the price increased by the £100 deposit they had already paid,) and went ahead with a half page advert

Perhaps we should treat representatives of the company to a dictionary – I’ve just looked up the word “exclusive” in my Oxford English Dictionary, just to check I do know what it means, and yes, there it is, “1. excluding or not admitting other things. 2. restricted to the person, group or area concerned.”, yet low and behold, our property letting agent found themselves in a publication with 6 other letting agents, who all bought exclusivity. The same thing can be said of the multiple Funeral Directors and Car Hire Companies who also thought they had paid for exclusivity.

The representative promised a circulation of 80,000 delivered to the residents of the area, yet investigations with the council involved confirmed that the print run was only ever going to be 10,000, with no home deliveries.

Keep a lookout and avoid salespeople from Community Sport Ltd, and if an advertising deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always check out the company – it could still be our friend and her colleagues from Elletson Publishing Limited who trade under a variety of names. If you work for a council, bring this to your publishing department’s attention – a quick look under advertising scams on the internet might save you a lot of embarrassment.

In all things advertising, keep yourself and your company safe by following these simple steps:

1) Always insist all areas of a contract document are completed in full before you consider signing, if they are not, then strike through the appropriate area before signing.

2) Always take a copy of everything you sign, including any information used to entice you to sign.

3) Take at least 24 hours to read and fully understand the consequences of your signing an agreement before you do so, if you are unsure, ask and get any reply in writing signed by the owner of the agreement, irrespective of what they say, if they want your business, a salesperson will always come back another day to collect your order.

4) Before entering into any agreement for advertising, make a simple check on the internet, using the word ‘advertising’ use the companies name, the publishers name, even the salesperson’s name and follow each one with the word ‘scam’. If others have been caught they will share the knowledge and you may just save yourself a lot of money and heartache.

5) Don’t be afraid to contact the supposed beneficiary of the magazine to check the publication has been commissioned and the advertising is for real

6) If you are unsure about any new agreement you are about to enter into, or you would simply like reassurance of the agreements you currently have, email us to request a free contract review now

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