Local businesses are being urged to check the credentials of salespeople who ask them to buy advertising space in emergency service magazines, guides, diaries or wall planners.
Although many reputable companies work in this field, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service and Warwickshire Trading Standards are occasionally contacted by local businesses that say they been approached in an unprofessional manner by suspected rogue traders.
Sometimes they give the impression that they are working on behalf of Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service or other emergency service organisations. Our advice is:
- Ask for the salesperson’s full name, company name and contact details.
- If the salesperson says the publication “supports” or “is distributed on behalf of” a local emergency service, ask for the full name of the organisation they say you will be helping.
- Ask for the offer to be made in writing.
- Remember – a reputable company will not be offended by any of these requests.
- Never make a commitment or agree to make a payment on the spot without taking time to think about the offer.
Trading Standards say that bogus publishers use high pressure selling techniques to sell advertising in magazines with little or no circulation, making the advert, (should it ever be produced) worthless. They may claim that the publication is being produced in support of a charity, emergency service or health education and will be distributed locally.
Businesses contacted are advised to put the phone down immediately. NEVER request further information or an example of the magazine. Bogus publishers will use any expression of interest as an agreement to advertise and will invoice the business.