Artists... Beware of Scammers

26 June 2014

Don’t get conned by the Salespeople........


We have been contacted by a number of our artists expressing concern

By Artists Info

Are you being offered an Advert for Payment, an Editorial opportunity really featuring your work...........or is it just a SCAM?? BE PREPARED.

Here is an extract from one of our Artist’s emails demonstrating the kind of spiel these sales people use:

Lines we have come to recognise are:

1. We are producing a special issue on arts and crafts and we’d really like
you to be the one painter/ potter/ weaver etc that we feature.
2. Everyone in the office is raving about your work. We¹d really like to put
you on the cover of the next issue. You deserve no less
3.  Hi! Amazing news! We had our twice-yearly meeting and you’ve got the
prize for (painting/ pottery/ weaving etc.) That entitles you to a big
prizewinner¹s piece
4.  Now we have to have a picture of you holding the prize. You must agree,
so as not to let the others down
5.  I tell you what I can do: I have a special budget and can put £300 of my
own money towards this, to halve the price.

"As well as extreme enthusiasm and fast-talking ebullience, the technique, as the policeman to whom we reported the invoice with threats, expressed it, is to make you feel they are your friends and they are so nice, they really like your work, that you actually feel guilty at refusing them and even feel guilty for having been had. So you swallow it."

Here is the comment of one of our Artist’s who fell for the spiel and requested our help to save others from the same:

“Yes I too have had many calls from this company and have unfortunately parted with £240 for advertising that I could not afford, never really wanted but was cunningly enticed into. I felt such a fool even as I was in the process of paying for the advertisement, obviously a gut instinct that I was being had. I was promised a hard copy of the magazine which never arrived and have since been inundated with calls from other companies I suspect are all interlinked.
It's an absolute outrage that unscrupulous people prey on the desperate with flattery, art is a hard career to pursue, and artists are vulnerable to the grooming and abuse of these parasites.” 

How can you tell if you are being had?

We hope you find the following words from our own Journalist and PR Specialist, Laura Berrill, helpful.

Editorial versus Advertising:  Pros and Cons

Advertising Pros:

It is guaranteed to be published and can be beneficial to some types of business.
You can also often opt for what is called an ‘Advertorial’ which will use the wording and any pictures you want to go alongside the ad, but this often costs more and you have to make sure your message, spelling and grammar are perfect.
Some publications will be able to offer you deals and discounts but make sure you haggle.

Advertising Cons:

Often extremely expensive and ineffectual for many businesses.
Your ad will be placed normally towards the back of the publication and the ad team are at will to place it wherever they want.
Think to yourself, who actually reads ads and takes any notice?
Advice when thinking about advertising with anyone:
Make sure your ad is placed is placed in the best publication for you and your target audience. There’s no point placing an ad in a paper or magazine which has nothing to do with your business or customer market.
Check out a copy of the publication first before you agree to advertise, as well as its fees, terms and conditions. Read the small print.
Remember, consenting over the phone does not necessarily make it a legal agreement so don’t be pressured into doing anything at all until you’ve done your research and considered all the options. If you want to say ‘no’ just say it – and don’t believe everything the salesmen say!
Decent salespeople will not goad you and will not hassle you.
However it is important to remember that advertising can be the life blood of a newspaper (locals especially) and if they can possibly get you to advertise, then they will.

Editorial Pros:

Getting a story (an editorial piece) into a magazine or newspaper gives you a lot of credibility – it means what you do is actually of interest to the public so therefore you must be pretty good at what you do.
An editorial is much more likely to be read, noticed and remembered by any potential buyer or client. Who spends time reading the ads in a newspaper, for example?
Using a publicist or PR agent to get you coverage means you are using someone’s professional expertise to place your story in a publication without having to spend additionally on advertising. The two are completely different.
There is a wide conception that publicists are all hugely expensive, but for what you get that isn’t always the case. If they are good at what they do you will reap the awards from investing in their help.
However to ensure editorial as much as possible, you will need a ‘story’ – papers won’t run what they may see as a free ad. Your PR Specialist should be able to pick out the story and angle which is needed for any good editorial.

Editorial Cons:

Editorial is never guaranteed. Something more important or more newsworthy may happen, someone may want to pay for an ad which takes up space required for articles, the reasons are many and it is important that your PR specialist makes you aware of that.
If your story is time sensitive, don’t hang about as someone else will get in there. Magazines prepare months in advance, make contact as early as possible.

NEED HELP or unsure? Please do contact us BEFORE signing up

[email protected]

Artists Info are in NO WAY associated with any Press Publications or any Third Party Exhibition Organisers.

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