Posted tagged ‘Advertising’

Hallmark warns newspapers of scams

January 23, 2008

January 23, 2008

Via Email

To All State Newspaper Associations
RE: Fraudulent Business Opportunity Classified Advertising

It has come to our attention that a number of newspapers all over the United States are and have been running classified ads from Premier Greetings, Omega Business, and/or Cards-R-Us. These ads may be coming through newspaper groups as placement requests for your statewide classified advertising networks.

These ads generally read, “HALLMARK/AMERICAN GREETINGS Be your own boss. Earn $50k-$250k/year. Call now! 1-888-238-1635,” or use very similar wording. The most recent round may only use Hallmark’s name and a 1-800 number in the copy. These ads have been running in both on-line and print classified sections.

The purpose of this letter is to inform your association and its members that these businesses are not legitimate and that these ads are a scam. We and American Greetings have received countless telephone calls from newspaper readers who have responded to these ads and have lost all the money they invested in this “opportunity.” The investors typically pay thousands of dollars and receive store fixtures and a selection of cards not from Hallmark or American Greetings. Hallmark Cards, Incorporated does not seek distributors, retailers or any other associates in this manner.

We are working to try to stop this unauthorized use of our name and track down these con artists. However, each time we are able to find the company behind these ads, they “morph” into another company. They change the business name and location, and sometimes the toll-free number, and start the advertising campaign over.

The Federal Trade Commission has filed cases involving the use of various types of misrepresentations in the past, and we have made them aware of our concerns.

We understand that none of your association members are under any obligation to refuse this advertising but we hope that, in the interest of their subscribers and protection of the public from such scams, they will consider refusing to run these ads. We would greatly appreciate it if you would share this letter and our request with your association members.

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss this further, I can be reached at the address, telephone or email listed below.

Thank you for your consideration and any assistance you can offer.

Sincerely,

Albert P. Mauro
Senior Attorney
Hallmark Cards, Incorporated
2501 McGee Trafficway, MD 339
Kansas City, Missouri 64108
Telephone: 816-545-3187
Facsimile: 816-274-7171
Email: amauro1@hallmark.com

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Online Advertising Continues to Bolster Newspapers

December 6, 2007

Preliminary estimates from the Newspaper Association of America show that advertising expenditures for newspaper Web sites increased by 21.1 percent to $773 million in the third quarter versus the same period a year ago. This is the fourteenth consecutive quarter of double digit growth for online newspaper advertising since 2004. The continued year-over-year gains have demonstrated the importance of newspaper Web site advertising, which now accounts for 7.1 percent of total newspaper ad spending, compared to 5.4 percent in last year’s third quarter.

Total advertising expenditures at newspaper companies were $10.9 billion for the third quarter of 2007, a 7.4 percent decrease from the same period a year earlier. Spending for print ads in newspapers totaled $10.1 billion, down nine percent versus the same period a year earlier.

In the third quarter:

Classified advertising fell 17 percent to $3.4 billion
Retail declined 4.9 percent to $5.1 billion
National was down 2.5 percent, coming in at $1.7 billion
Within the classified print category in the third quarter:

Real estate advertising fell 24.4 percent to $1 billion
Recruitment dropped 19.7 percent to $882.4 million
Automotive was down 17.7 percent to $796.6 million
All other classifieds were up 2.7 percent to $713.3 million
NAA President and CEO, John F. Sturm, concludes that “Newspaper Web sites continue to generate substantial revenue by offering advertisers access to the nation’s most desirable group of consumers… (while) broader economic issues are (negatively) impacting… real estate, recruitment and retail advertising…”

Advertising Spending Historical Trends
National Retail Classified Print Total
Year $Mill %Change $Mill %Change $Mill %Change $Mill %change
1950 $518 11.90% $1,175 6.30% $377 9.90% $2,070 8.30%
1960 $778 0.50% $2,100 4.30% $803 8.80% $3,681 4.40%
1971 $972 9.10% $3,565 8.30% $1,630 7.20% $6,167 8.10%
1980 $1,963 10.90% $8,609 9.70% $4,222 -0.60% $14,794 6.70%
1990 $4,122 4.40% $16,652 0.90% $11,506 -3.50% $32,280 -0.30%
2000 $7,653 13.70% $21,409 2.40% $19,608 5.10% $48,670 5.10%
2001 $7,004 -8.50% $20,679 -3.40% $16,622 -15.20% $44,305 -9.00%
2002 $7,210 2.90% $20,994 1.50% $15,898 -4.30% $44,102 -0.50%
2003 $7,797 8.10% $21,341 1.70% $15,801 -0.60% $44,939 1.90%
2004 $8,083 3.70% $22,012 3.10% $16,608 5.10% $46,703 3.90%
2005 $7,910 -2.15% $22,187 0.79% $17,312 4.24% $47,408 1.51%
2006 $7,505 -5.12% $22,121 -0.30% $16,986 -1.88% $46,611 -1.68%
Source: NAA, November 2007

Online and Print Advertising Totals

Online Total Print And Online Total
Year $Mill %change $Mill %Change
2003 $1,216 $46,156
2004 $1,541 26.70% $48,244 4.50%
2005 $2,027 31.48% $49,435 2.47%
2006 $2,664 31.46% $49,275 -0.32%
Source: NAA, November 2007