Few industries are as shady and corrupt as marketing and advertising. We have seen companies ranging from multi-national powerhouses to mom and pop shops become victims of scams and greedy contracts.
Our eyes were opened to this when we worked for one of these agencies. In 2020, when the world was struggling due to the pandemic, the agency we worked for resumed billing credit cards without notifying customers. They did this because they could and because profits were more important than people. There was not an ounce of transparency or empathy towards our customers. Many of the customers lost their businesses.
Immediately after, we decided to leave the company and start our agency. That agency started as Small Business Mentor. We helped a lot of people build their dreams and get new customers. But we also learned just how corrupt the industry was.
Everyone we talked to had a horror story, whether it was a bad contract or work wasn't completed. We talked to one individual who was charged over $100,000, and the agency didn't complete half of the work. When they raised an issue with this, the agency pointed to the contract. The contract had a clause notified requiring a 60-day cancellation or an automatic renewal. The agency nearly put them out of business.
We also found that marketing agencies rarely actually did their own work. Agencies pitch a new client, hand them over to a freelancer, and then hand them off to someone else. It is a messed-up trickle-down system where those who have the best smoke and mirror show wins. The work is being completed in India or the Philippines while agencies are earning huge margins.
Agencies are taking advantage of hard-working people without any repercussions.
We decided that our most significant impact would be to uplift the ethical, transparent, and accessible agencies. The agencies that genuinely care for their customers and back up their work with data.