Report: #653332

Complaint Review: The Ad Group - Jaime Hepp - CYDCOR - LA Marketing Firm - BE Marketing Concepts - Marketing Systems Scam? Read this for the legit truth Los Angeles, OC Area California

  • Submitted: Wed, October 20, 2010
  • Updated: Tue, February 05, 2013
  • Reported By: Lucy — Los Angeles California United States of America
  • The Ad Group - Jaime Hepp - CYDCOR - LA Marketing Firm - BE Marketing Concepts - Marketing Systems Scam? Read this for the legit truth Los Angeles, OC Area California
    Overland and National, LA, CA.
    Los Angeles, CA, California
    United States of America

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I worked for TAG (The Ad Group) located on Overland and National for almost a year as a "leader." During my time there, I saw some terrible things happen. They have what they call "campaigns" where they "work" for Fortune 500 companies. Long story short, they are a pyramid scheme (multi-level marketing if you prefer) created to cheat small  business owners and home owners out of their money. The people who bring in the money for the higher-ups are called "leaders" and the entry-level people do not get ANY of the percentage profits. All of that goes to the "managers". Their secret sheets show the individual percentages that "managers" and their "directors" get for each item / product "sold" to the customer. Since all employees are commission ONLY, there is a lot of incentive to lie to customers and business owners in order to get these "products" "sold". On top of that, these "slaves" work "territories" and are not reimbursed for travel / gas / ANYTHING.

If you have to leave for medical reasons (as I did), you'll get chewed out by Jamie Hepp for being a quitter and "worthless". This was AFTER I had WASTED a year of my life making money for HIM! When you first meet him, he's EXTREMELY friendly and helpful. However, as soon as you get on his bad side you get to see who he REALLY is. I've seen him cuss out "leaders" for nothing, just for kicks and giggles. I can't even count the number of times i've had to do "business" projects for him. It was only later that I found out that he was getting an MBA from Berkeley off of the work that I and OTHERS did. Currently, he's on the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club, but that's only because he tells his employees that his business cares about helping other people. Jamie doesn't really care about community service and has personally said that he only does it to recruit "brainless suckers with extra time on their hands". I can't even count the number of times he's "advised" people to drop their significant others to put in extra time making money for him (he married one of his employees by the way...). Working here is a waste of time and a waste of your life. It's all a scam. Don't let yourself get tricked...

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/20/2010 02:31 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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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Updates & Rebuttals


#1 UPDATE Employee

New Office in Orange, CA

AUTHOR: Jerry Jones - (USA)

They have closed down thier Culver City location and moved to a new office in Orange.  Same wolf, new sheepskin.

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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Tag Team

AUTHOR: Greg - (USA)

It is really an unfortunately matter of fact that even reputed companies in the likes of TAG Team has fallen in this negative perceptions by many people as a result of intentional scams promoted by their business rivals.


Businesses compete with each other by establishing the best price, giving value for their products, making their business convenient for the customer, establishing a sense of trust and practicing corporate responsibility. Through competition, businesses are able to innovate and deliver better customer service.



Tag team tricks are not just confined to the wrestling ring. Businesses often use partners to try to convince victims they’re genuine.  But you can avoid their well-aimed sucker punch by just applying one simple rule.  We outline some of the most common tag team tricks and the actions you can take to avoid falling victim.


These Tag Team Acts Are Just a Scam!  In a wrestling ring, a tag team can make for some entertaining sport — at least in some people’s eyes — but in the world of scams it has become a cunning way of conning victims.  Many scams involve an accomplice but a tag team mostly refers to con tricks in which the crooks pretend not to know each other. And in some instances, the term can even refer to one individual pretending to be two different people.  The aim is usually the same — to generate credibility for the scam by seeming to offer independent confirmation that it’s genuine. And our rule for dealing with it is one we always stress — never believe people are who they say they claim to be.


For example....5 Reasons SmackDown Has A Better Tag-Team Division Than Raw


When it comes to tag-team wrestling, the SmackDown brand has been destroying Raw. There’s really no comparison in quality as Team Blue’s tag division has steadily built intrigue while delivering entertaining in-ring action.

Raw’s tag division has sputtered and it’s in need of a boost. Here’s five reasons SmackDown’s tag division has been superior.


The New Day are the longest reigning tag-team champions in history, but their reign has become a bit sour. The threesome are still somewhat entertaining on the mic, but they desperately need a rival.The Wyatt Family angle was decent, but like almost everything else associated with Bray Wyatt, it was cut short prematurely.


The New Day’s current feud with Gallows and Anderson took a pitiful turn for the ridiculousness after last week’s retirement home bit. We’re at a point on Raw where no one really cares about the tag titles–much less the primary contenders for the belt.


The Tag Team Pet Trick.  This is a simple but clever trick that targets people who have advertised a lost pet.  The first caller says they think they’ve spotted the animal and asks you to describe it; then they say they were mistaken.  The second caller, armed with information you gave to the first crook, gives you a detailed description that seems to confirm they’ve found your pet.  Then they use that to try to get money out of you. For instance, they may claim they’re some distance away and need you to pay for travel or transportation, ask you to send a reward or just try to bully you into paying a ransom.



In most cases, you’ll likely be asked to wire the money though, in some cases, a scammer may turn up on your doorstep, describe the animal and claim they know where it is, and ask for cash to go get it.  Sometimes, this scam is used for other lost items — like jewelry and wallets. The format and the outcome is the same.


Action: Don’t describe a lost pet or item to someone over the phone. Ask them to do the describing.  Or, hold something important back — like the color of the collar — and specifically ask the caller for that information.


The Shill Player or Passerby


In this tag team scam, one or more accomplices pretend to be innocent people who win money or stumble across you and the other crook and confirm the great deal you are being offered.


It can take several formats:


* Playing street card games like “three card monte” in which you have to keep track of a named card as it’s moved around.


The accomplice seems to be repeatedly winning — or even missing the correct card when you’ve managed to visually track it.


We’ve written about this before, most recently in our issue covering rest stop scams, Don’t Get Hijacked by These Rest Area Scams.


Action: Don’t get drawn into street card games. Even in a casino, though, never make a judgment on the basis of someone else’s winning.


Being offered jewelry, cash or even a shopping bargain, usually on the street or in a parking lot.


For example, the first scammer tells you they desperately need to sell a bogus bullion bar or precious stone, and the second scammer who is just “passing by” stops and buys one and then somehow authenticates it.


Tag team scammers may also sell what seem to be electronic products out of the back of a van. The accomplice “buys” one first and opens the packaging, thus confirming it’s genuine.


But victims who buy one — the items are usually tightly sealed — later discover their box is loaded with rubbish or inferior products.


Action: Don’t buy anything from people you encounter in these sorts of locations, no matter how convincing their offer.


The bogus contractor


In this scam, the first crook knocks at your front door, perhaps claims to be a new neighbor, and says they spotted a problem on your roof.


As they try to point it out to you, the tag team accomplice “passes by” and somehow gets drawn into the conversation.


He says he just happens to be a contractor, confirms the “problem” and offers to do the repair for you at a bargain price.


He asks for part of the payment, usually a couple hundred dollars, up front and says you can pay him the rest when the job’s done.


He goes away to get his ladders — but you never see him again. And, of course, there’s nothing wrong with your roof.


Action: Always get expert opinion from a registered, reputable contractor before having work done. Check their credentials independently.


Read more about contractor scams in these earlier Scambusters issues:


Contractor Scams: How to Avoid “Rent-a-Creep” Schemes


What Everyone Ought to Know About… Home Improvement Scams


The Official Confirmation Tag Team Scam


Of course, you’d never fall for a lottery or other “big-win” scam would you?


How about if someone from the local police department or other “official” source calls to confirm it’s genuine?


We hope you wouldn’t be taken in by that either — but scores of people are.


Victims receive the usual bogus email announcing their winnings. Perhaps it might contain a code number.


The announcement may even come by phone. But whatever the source, victims are told that because of recent security concerns, they will receive a confirmation call or message from the police, a well-known “genuine” competition organizer (like Publishers’ Clearing House), or even the IRS.


The call comes in, maybe even spoofing the number of the supposed organization on your caller ID, requests the code and confirms the “win.”


Then, of course, they ask for money for taxes or processing fees before they can release your prize.


Action: As we’ve said — don’t believe anyone is who they say they are without absolute proof. And, of course, you’re unlikely to win a competition you didn’t enter.


See also our earlier lottery scam issues:


Foreign Lottery Scams


Lottery Scams Rake in Big Winnings for Crooks


And look out for another upcoming Scambusters issue on the latest lottery tricks.


Sadly, that’s not the end of the tag team scam story. There are lots more of these evil tricks, like bogus relatives who confirm the person you’re “dating” online is genuine, or “friends” who confirm the panhandler who accosted you genuinely needs your money to get home.


There’s a tag team scam called the “badger game” which involves setting victims up in a compromising situation with someone they just met, then being “discovered” by a supposedly outraged partner who demands a pay-off.


You can even encounter crooked tag team partnerships in many online games like Vortex Wars and RuneScape.


So watch out for those tricksters who come in pairs! Tag team players aren’t just in the wrestling ring.


Time to conclude for today — have a great week!
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Haters gonna hate

AUTHOR: Adrian S - (USA)

I have been working with Jaime and TAG for over 10 years now.  I have to laugh when I see haters hating on him or the companies he works with.  

Some facts.

  • Everyone (even the dumbass that calls TAG a multi-level marketing company) is a W2 employee.  All employees have taxes coming out of our checks, none of us are required to invest any money in the company, and all of us have received income from our employment there.  I worked from Primerica for about a year and they required me to invest money upfront with them.  They are a multi-level marketing company, and TAG's structure is nothing like theirs.  
  • The campaigns at TAG are big names.  Verizon, AT&T, Staples, Direct TV.  For 10 years I have seen these clients come in to the business and praise the hell out of us for our outstanding work.  In the eyes of our clients we are awesome. And if there really was something wrong with this business, do you think that the biggest companies in America would do business with them?  
  • I have seen people leave the business that were not really good at sales or building teams.  Some of these people (like the hater that started this report) like to point a finger at Jaime or the business.  It's a lot easier to blame someone or something else for your shortcomings, isn't it.

I have enjoyed a great experience and opportunity with this company and the leadership team.  I am impressed with the integrity of the people and the business structure.  Every year I make more money than the previous year, and I earn well in to the 6 figures.  I have amazing life long friends that I met at work.  I am married to a beautiful woman that yes, I met at work.  I am a happy employee of the company and I think that anyone that knows the people here will say great things about them.  

It's the haters you gotta watch out for.  Something tells me that they are leaving a trail of hate for most of the employers that they work for.  

My advice for you haters:  It's easier to go from failure to success than it is to go from excuses to success.  Take some accountability in your lives and learn to love peoiple; not hate.  


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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

You don't know Jaime

AUTHOR: Samantha - (USA)

I came across this blog site, and I can't tell you how appauled I am reading these slanderous things.  I worked with Jaime for 4 years, and I can honesty tell you that he's the best boss that I ever had.  Anyone that works with him and gets to know him and his family will tell you that he is a man of integrity, a man of his word, and a man that is always looking to help his employees and the community around him.  I participated with him at the Boys and Girls Club and had a first hand look at the difference we were all making in the lives of the kids that we were mentoring and helping.  I worked with him at TAG and found myself growing from my experience in sales, recruiting and leadership.

 As I was moving on from my experience working with his company, Jaime helped me identify my strengths and he steered me in the right direction.  I took my experience with TAG, and found myself in my next venture in pharmaceutical sales.  I have been recognized in the top 5% in my company year over year.  Any time anyone asks me where I learned to be a great communicator, I always credit my experience working with Jaime and TAG.  I am so thankful for meeting Jaime, and it just saddens me to read these mean things.  Obviously the people that wrote these things don't really know him.  Maybe the haters are bitter because they weren't tough enough to make it in a tough business?  A lot easier to point the finger at someone else than it is to look in the mirror, isn't it?  

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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Same ol Cydcor stuff, different state

AUTHOR: Da U - (United States of America)

I worked for a make me sickcor company to and its all the same. I was in indiana and i can feel your pain. The sickcor magazine makes these fools like gayme hepp act like a God figure and call it hard work. In reality, these fools have never busted their a*s in the labor force, but instead put down those who are in it.The hard work part comes in when you have to loose all your morals and lie to people in my case making the claim up the uverse had no tax so it would match the current bills and the ineternet was so much better. I also seen our assistant manager  lie about them being able to get gift cards for signing up. It just wasnt my office, its everywhere. For all the negative posts on glassdoor or ripoff, there is always one positive from someone who works there. It is because these fools monitor their reviews and make fake ones up to suade prospects views. Scene it all, its the truth. JAMIE HEPP, ED CUNLIFF, GARY POLSON, VERA QUINN (who does has big cans tho) , DORFMAN, BRANDI PARK...HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT? YOU HAVE THESE LIFE STYLES, BUT EVERYONE TRYING TO GET THERE IS LIVING DAY TO DAY BARELY APPLE TO SURVIVE. YOU HOLD CHECKS FOR 3 WEEKS WHICH IS B.S. DO SOCIETY OF FAVOR AND DIE
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

TAG .. not so bad!

AUTHOR: RIncFortune - (United States of America)

I worked for this company about 3 years ago and it really got me out of a jam, the company i worked for had just down sized and i was let go, i needed a job and all though this company felt shady during the interview it was all i had, so i went into it, on the field trip interview i found out it was a straight commission door to door sales, of course they don't tell you that during the interview because then you say nay to the field trip, i ended up making 500 - 700 dollars every week, but it was the hardest job i've ever had, EVER. 7AM - 7PM, no base and outdoor door to door, hardest job ever, but it got the bills paid and kept my family with a roof over  their heads. It's a job and they paid on time every time. It is what it is, if i'm ever in a jam i'm i know i'll have a job with them, but right now i'm in at a comfortable job where i get paid that amount for 1/100 of the work effort. JAJAJA
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#7 Consumer Comment

TAG using and

AUTHOR: Wilson - (USA)

Jaime Hepp is using and for his Cydcor office in Culver City, CA. What is interesting is that his Facebook page uses the bad-looking as the website for Team TAG instead of the more professional-looking Both websites have a Career section.

Do not be surprised if within one or two years, Jaime's TAG changes office and website name again.
5601 West Slauson Avenue #296
Culver City, CA 90230
Tele: (310) 670-6500

Created on: 25-Mar-07
Expires on: 25-Mar-13
Description:Team TAG leads the United States in creating sales campaigns for Fortune 500 companies.  We have 3 core competencies:
- Executing Sales and Retention Campaigns
- Developing Young Leaders
- Giving back to our communities
Parking: Parking Lot
Location: 5601 West Slauson Ave. Ste 296 Culver City, CA, 90230
Facebook Page:
Contact Info
Phone:310.670.6500 Website:
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#8 Consumer Comment

Team TAG is now in Culver City, California

AUTHOR: Wilson - (U.S.A.)

Warning T.A.G. is now in Culver City, CA. was registered by Jaime Hepp with on 10-May-2010

Team TAG 
5601 We. Saluson Ave #296
Culver City, CA 90230
Ph: 310-370-6500
Jaime Hepp
Helen Davidown
Helen Davidov (Los Angeles, CA) – Has been with T.A.G. since February, 2001.
Today Helen oversees all operations and staffing of T.A.G. nationally.

Jaime Hepp (Los Angeles, CA)
With 5 years of sales, marketing, and advertising experience Jaime joined TAG in 1998. Today he oversees all offices and has established his role as a leader and developer of top managers and owners.
T.A.G. (Corporate Headquarters)
2999 Overland Ave #127
West Los Angeles, CA 90064
Phone: 310-559-8777
Fax: 310-559-8715 
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#9 UPDATE EX-employee responds

They set you up to fail

AUTHOR: TC - (United States of America)

They set you up to fail

I worked at TAG for about two months. And it was some of the most frustrating, soul-crushing work I've ever done. You are told of all the lavish bonuses and perks available to those who manage to succeed in the business, without any mention (until you're already in their employ) of the various obstacles they put in place to make it as hard as possible for you to actually satisfy their lofty goals.

The campaign that I was assigned to was for Quill office supplies. Basically you'd go into a business (but only specific businesses; more on that in a bit) and try to get them to sign up for an account by ordering something from their catalog, like printer paper or copy machine toner. Everybody uses printer paper and toner, so selling those items to office managers at what you're told is a rock-bottom price should be a breeze, right? Well, except for the fact that they probably already have boxes upon boxes of paper and toner in a supply closet somewhere, and don't need anymore. Thus your trump card is gone, and you probably have 10 seconds at most to convince them to buy anything before they say something along the lines of "I really have better things to do with my time than listen to a traveling salesman. Please show yourself out before I call security."

And in case you're thinking that I was being facetious, you are indeed a traveling salesman. You are expected to drive to your assigned territory, park somewhere that won't ticket you for being there all day, and walk several miles down the sidewalks of that territory in order to find a business that will take enough pity on you to order something from the phone book-sized catalog you're lugging the whole time. But don't think you can just waltz into any storefront, sell a stapler, and book some commission. No sir. Entire categories of businesses are deemed off-limits. Any place that could be considered a "credit risk" - auto dealerships, nail salons, etc., are not kosher to The Ad Group. You could sell them thousands of dollars of generic office equipment and you won't see a dime of the sale because those businesses apparently have credit cooties. And just to make things even more difficult, the businesses that are deemed appropriate to sell to must have a minimum number of employees, because apparently they don't want to waste the printing cost of a catalog on a doctor's office that only has five employees rather than the six they mandate. And of course, if they're already customers with Quill, then you're not going to get paid for placing their next order for them.

If you do manage to coax an office manager into ordering something, they add yet another hurdle by making the ordering process as long and as complicated as possible. You actually have to call the 1-800 ordering number and read everything off the order form to the operator on the other end of the phone. Why, in an era where anything can be ordered in a matter of seconds by going on a website and typing in a shipping address, one would be expected to sit through a 10-minute phone call to do the same thing is anyone's guess. And naturally, the longer the call goes, the more likely said office manager is going to say, "You know what, I'll just do this online." Thus, Quill still gets the sale, but you won't get anything for it. And don't think you can give them a business card or any other way to contact you personally if they have questions or want to look over the catalog before they place their order. Business cards are expressly prohibited - instead, the companies you talk to are expected to call the TAG office so that they can tell you to go back to a certain business and place an order for them - even if you went there last week and are now in a new territory that's an hour's drive away.

I've gone this long into my rant, and I haven't even gone into the office environment yet. Suffice to say that it's high pressure. Mornings are spent practicing your sales pitch in one way or another - whether you're starting out and practicing your pitch to businesses to order from you (including ways to get past security guards or "No Soliciting" signs), or you're a so-called "leader" and you're working on your pitch to get a new recruit to join the team. At night, you're settling up your order forms and trying to motivate everyone else. Rest assured, if you're not pulling your weight in the numbers department, you'll hear about it. Not just from Jaime, but from all the other "leaders" who have already drunk so much of the Kool-Aid that their teeth are purple. Did I mention that you're expected to show up at 7:00 in the morning, and typically don't leave until 6:30 at night - and then get to drive home from an office that's situated right smack dab in the middle of West LA? Between driving time, office time, and field time, you can expect to devote a good 14 hours a day to this company - and chances are good you'll have little if anything to show for it.

We're not done. As a way to infiltrate as much area as possible, leaders are encouraged to take trainees on "road trips" - week-long excursions to areas 50 to 100 miles away from headquarters where businesses don't get pestered by traveling salespeople as often and so are less likely to toss you out on your ear the moment you walk up to the receptionist's desk. Of course, the company takes good care of a team that goes out on the road, putting them up in a decent hotel and giving them a per diem for food and gas, right? Wrong. Any expenses a leader spends on putting together a road trip come out of their pocket, and so it's a given that they'll look for ways to cut corners. I was forced to go on a road trip to Bakersfield when my sales were getting dangerously low, and we ended up staying at the house where the organizer's mom lived. (I'm just lucky I had my own room.)

Now, to be fair, I likely would not do very well in a sales environment to begin with. I'm not a salesperson by nature. I couldn't, with a clear conscience, sell things that the people I talked to were clearly not interested in. But The Ad Group is not so much a sales force as it is a cult of personality. Overachievers are recruited by the score to participate in a weird corporate boot camp, commanded to generate profits for themselves and their boss despite several ridiculous and artificial obstacles placed in front of them, and then terminated at the first sign of burnout. Even if you really are the sort of person who wants to be your own boss and are willing to put in the effort to accomplish that goal, the shadiness of The Ad Group's business practices should discourage anyone who knows what they're getting into from joining up.
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#10 UPDATE EX-employee responds

All that is true about Hepp

AUTHOR: Socal smooth - (U.S.A.)

I have to agree about Jamie Hepp.

He his a classic car salesman. He looks slick. He talks slick. But he will sell you if it meant making a deal. He is always taking about wanting competitors. But really he just wants money.

His greatest trick is to make this b.s. "opportunity" is above all else. This really is behind his need to call people who do not embrace the opportunity as worthless and all that. Stay away from this opportunity.

You will sleep better at night. Sweet dreams.
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