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Report: #1493840

Complaint Review: CLEVER Influencer Marketing Agency - San Jose California

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Rosa — United States
  • CLEVER Influencer Marketing Agency 410 Milan Dr Unit 119 San Jose, California United States

CLEVER Influencer Marketing Agency Tori Canonge Victoria Sutton Victoria Canonge simplyWORKOUT CLEVER Influencer Marketing Agency doesn't have any regard for bloggers, especially during this crisis. San Jose California

*Author of original report: Also Known as Clever Girls Collective

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I have been blogging since 2004 and I have never come across anyone as rude and unprofessional as Tori Canonge (also known as Victoria Sutton) from CLEVER Influencer Marketing Agency!   I have always enjoyed working with CLEVER, but she's the only person from this company that I have found unbelievably rude and unprofessional. For example, I sent an email to CLEVER a few years ago and asked them if they'd be sending 1099 forms and would it be possible to email it to me instead of sending it to me via postal mail.  

I was in the midst of moving during the time and wanted to ensure that I received instead of it going to the wrong address. This had actually happened to me before despite an address change and I got audited for it. Thankfully, the companies who had sent me the 1099 forms were kind enough to resend the 1099 forms to amend my tax return.  

 I understand that some companies don't send 1099 forms and Tori made sure that I was clear of that when she replied back to me. Not only she rudely told me that they don't send 1099 forms, but she also had the audacity to ask me if I knew how to count - meaning if I knew how to add up all of the payments to include on my taxes. I'm not sure what gave her the impression that I didn't know how to add, considering I have been in the marketing and advertising field since 2002 - long before CLEVER was thought of. All I needed to know if they were going to send 1099 forms and to please send it to me via email if possible. Nothing else. I was perplexed by how someone could be so rude about a simple question, but I pushed forward. This is just one of the many examples of Tori's unprofessional behavior.

My most recent experience with Tori Canonge took the cake since she let her superiority complex rear its ugly head. We're at a time where it is more crucial than ever for blog networks (and the clients they work with) and their influencers to be more supportive of each other. The Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak has been affecting the world in an unprecedented way yet some companies, such as CLEVER, are showing their lack of social responsibility and professionalism. They don't have any regards for the bloggers and influencer's work that is being affected by this.    

I was hired on March 27th to participate in a small campaign where I promote a company on Facebook between March 30th - April 6th. I have never encountered a timing issue with CLEVER before, but I was at my busiest during this timeframe. I have 3 children (2, 7, and 14). When I'm not chasing after a toddler,  I have been homeschooling my 7-year-old and 14-year-old.    Many parents with school-aged children are busier than usual due to the physical school closures since we're required to homeschool at the moment. I also take social distancing seriously, so it's not like I can drop off my toddler at a daycare (daycares are closed anyways) or hire a babysitter. 

It hasn't been the easiest adjustment, but I have been trying my best to promote on my blog and social media whenever I can find time to do so. Clearly, Tori doesn't have children of her own to comprehend this!  Or, maybe she simply doesn't care as long as she is getting paid.   You'd think a company like Clever would be more lenient with the campaigns by giving influencers more time to promote, but they expect to have work done by 7 AM PST (9 AM CT). I was super busy on Monday morning by helping my children with their schoolwork. I finally found some time to promote the campaign later on that morning.   While in the midst of promoting the campaign, I got an email from Tori that I was removed from the campaign. I've included a transcript of the conversation below.

I'm looking back at the emails and I'm just realizing that it was only a few minutes late , not half an hour late. Either way, I believe influencers should have by the end of the day to promote campaigns since this is a very busy time for many. It's not like everyone has time to have a Love is Blind binge-fest, drink rosé, and take selfies to fend off boredom.   

Tori's Email:

Hi there,

Since you are late to post for the Genius of Play (owned by The Toy Association) program, we will be removing you from the program. This will not reflect on your account as we understand that there is a lot going on in the world right now!

Please be sure to keep timelines in mind for future programs with us. Thank you!

My Email:

You’re so right! There is a lot going on in the world today and you’d think a company like yours would have a better understanding of this since you’re always touting compassion.  This past week has been super busy for me, between work and having to homeschool a 7-year-old and 14-year-old. It hasn’t been an easy adjustment! I was about to post this before resuming my kids’ schooling, but I won’t be since I have been removed. Considering that many parents like myself have their hands full due to the current circumstances, you’d think that a project like this would be due by the end of the day instead. That would be more of a humane consideration. Thank you for showing your true colors. I see you!

Her Email:

  I'm sorry that you feel that way, and I hope that you understand that we provided a week for the posting timeframe to account for all the challenges that are currently going on in everyone's lives. We truly are trying to be as flexible as possible for our influencers while still taking care of our clients who are trying to get the word out about their product and services during this time.

We always appreciate feedback and truly do our best to accommodate whenever we can. Are you looking to see longer posting timeframes than one week right now? Are there other things we could be doing to help make your lives easier? We share openly with the team and clients so please let me know if you have anything you'd like me to pass along.

As I mentioned, we're not holding this as a negative mark on your account as we know it's a challenging time.

My Email:

The timeframe isn't any different than other campaigns that I have promoted for Clever in the past. This is the first time I have encountered a timing issue and I can't help but be appalled by the lack of compassion and understanding. I honestly don't think your client would have been upset with an influencer by being almost a half an hour late with promoting messaging.  It is examples like this why so many companies are facing backlash amid this worldwide crisis.

 It should go without saying that influencers should be allowed more time at the moment.   I'm sorry, but a person can't be that out of touch with reality. This is just a cop-out excuse to not pay any more influencers than you have to. This isn't how I feel. It is just the truth.

You have to keep in mind that not everyone suddenly has an ample amount of free time because of the crisis. Many parents with school-aged children are busier than usual due to the physical school closures since we're required to homeschool at the moment. I rest my case! No need to follow-up.

Her Email: Again, I'm sorry that you feel that we have lacked compassion and understanding during this time. Wishing you all the best.

My Email: Once this crisis abates, it’s actions like these that will be remembered since we’re at a time where it is more crucial than ever for blog networks (and the brands they work with) and their influencers to be more supportive of each other. Use this as a window of opportunity to do better! Moving forward.   -----------   I guess I shouldn't be too surprised by how Tori has been able to get away with this type of unprofessional for so long. In a nutshell, Tori's self-serving behavior is the type that people will remember once the world reaches some level of normalcy again.  In the meantime, she's leaving a stain on her client's image - not just hers.  A quick glance at CLEVER's review on Glassdoor will tell you that this company is well known for nepotism and favoritism. I have witnessed the latter, especially with various campaigns since they seemingly pick the same bloggers over and over again despite some not having any credible writing skills. I can easily imagine how favoritism plays out in the workplace! Their Glassdoor review also indicates that they preach about inclusivity online yet don't actually practice it within the workplace. I can easily see this since their staff page strongly shows a lack of diversity. As a multi-racial woman, I'm quite dismayed by this.  As I said in an email to her, this is a window of opportunity to do better!

 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/08/2020 07:21 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/clever-influencer-marketing/san-jose-california-tori-1493840. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Also Known as Clever Girls Collective

AUTHOR: Rosa - (United States)

POSTED: Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Please note at the end of first post where I say moving forward, this was the last part of my email. The lines afterwards isn't what I emailed her - just my views concerning the situation.  In case anyone is not familiar with CLEVER, they're formerly known as Clever Girls Collective or just Clever Girls. They're also headquartered in San Francisco, California.

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