I was solicited December 2012 by a few of their "media developers" which in itself should've been a warning sign that vultures were flying.
I was in the process of buying the business I was managing at the time, so I was assured that a short term contract could be done in case the business deal fell through. I signed the advertising agreement, that was pre-filled, mostly for my credit card information; So he told me. I'm always working, so I trusted that everything we verbally agreed upon would be honored. Was I wrong.
December the payments began, but the magazine did not come out until February. Being a new business owner, the article looked pretty neat. I closed on the store end of month February, and decided to cancel at the three month mark because I had various other expenses that trumped fancy advertising. They said I was locked into a 12- month contract. Hands that shook and words spoken apparently were moot.
Livid describes partially how I felt. The media developer wrote no notes on the agreement, so in fact, I was in a 12-month contract. They said they gave me a big discount on my page, designed my logo from a napkin which costs at least $300, a professional photo shoot, web listing, professional review, you get the picture. I didn't ask for a whole page, he told me he would do that. The logo was designed by my wife, on a piece of paper that was scanned in and they colored it- that's it. The biggest photo on the page was of shrimp, which everyone carries. If you read the article, some of the phrases are verbatim from the parent company website of my store. They brought 10 magazines to the store with no replenishment. I didn't see the magazines anywhere. I believe they did as little as possible on the creative side. They made these $20 gift certificates to give out to people at their venues, and the only one I saw using them was the media developer. Salt in the wound, after I cancelled, he came in and used one of those certificates.
They promised they would go above and beyond to keep my business, but frankly, I do not like dealing with unethical people. They had a buyout option, how nice of them, which I paid and washed my hands clean of their business filth.