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MISLEADING TACTICS

It continues to come to IAAPA’s attention that some companies are using misleading tactics to solicit IAAPA manufacturer and supplier members and others for listings in trade show and exhibition directories.

Specifically, IAAPA members have received correspondence from Construct Data/FAIR Guide, EXPO-GUIDE, World Business Guide, and World Trade Register regarding listings in online directories for businesses, fairs and exhibitions. Although the correspondence appears to request information for free listings, the document is actually a three-year contract for the purchase of advertising space.

Companies under these names are actively targeting our supplier members and exhibitors via e-mail asking them to fill a free directory update form that abides them to the terms listed on their website. The truth is, the offer is a cleverly constructed three-year ad commitment for approximately €3,000 that results in endless harassment and collection demands.

As mentioned before, please note that IAAPA is not affiliated with Construct Data, FAIR Guide, Expo-Guide, World Business Guide, or World Trade Register.  They are not IAAPA-sponsored directories, and IAAPA does not sponsor or endorse their services in any way.

For purposes of saving you a great deal of distress, and possible expense, we remind you to read all correspondence received by vendors or others very carefully prior to signing anything. If you receive a contract that looks like any of those pictured above you should NOT fill it out.

If you signed a contract and have received collection notices from any of these companies:

  • Consider the option of immediately sending a letter revoking the signature explaining that the form was misleading and confusing. If you receive written demands for payment or telephone calls, no matter how threatening or ominous, you may have the option of simply refusing to pay any money and reiterating the fact that the form was misleading and was signed only as the result of confusion. Talk to your legal counsel about these options. The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) believes that, despite some very crude and threatening collection tactics employed over the years by Construct Data/FairGuide, they have never taken legal action in any nation to secure payment. The same may be true of the other companies for the same reasons --- a court may have little sympathy for their tactics.
  • As background documentation for your claim to Construct Data/FAIR Guide and EXPO-GUIDE, you may want to attach the letter for U.S. Members and Non-U.S. members sent by IAAPA’s legal advisor Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.

 

In the U.S., you can contact the Federal Trade Commission for further assistance.

Federal Trade Commission
Office of Business Fraud
600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington , D.C. 20580

Tel: +1 (202) 326-2800
Fax:+1 (202) 326-2034 
E-mail: OIG@ftc.gov

 

1/22/13