Buy a bogus award plaque so you can ego trip

bogus award plaqueI continually campaign against phony awards programs of all kinds. I first wrote a blog post about phony awards in December 2008, and then again in September 2009. As well, I wrote  an article in Wedlock Magazine, too.

One annoying offering comes from the U.S. Local Business Association. In searching Google for the U.S. Local Business Association, it’s clear I’m not the only person annoyed by this practice. There are plenty of articles chastising the practice, generally, and this organization,  individually.

Pictured on the right is a web image from a local Las Vegas florist, Wild Orchids. In 2008, they bought a different category: Florists and Events (Pictured on its About Us – screen).

Here’s the thing: In briefly reviewing their website, Wild Orchids looks like a credible business. Maybe they are. Maybe not. But when a company displays a phony award such as this one, people are less inclined to become a customer.

Instead, I’m inclined to poke fun at them, until such time as they remove the phony awards from their website (updated, 7/2/15 – Wild Orchids no longer exists. Either the domain or business or both have changed).

If you have people in your market spreading baloney, disguised as achievement, my advice is to needle them until they crumble from embarrassment. It’s only fitting.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Ersatz Awards Do Not Reflect Well On Anyone

I love a good inside joke. The kind where you can have a quiet chuckle because only YOU get it.

My dad, a fulltime freelance writer. would often work on anthologies. Occasionally, he might be one writer short to contribute a chapter. In those cases, he might write that piece under a pen name. A perfectly acceptable practice in the field. My favorite pen name dad used was “Chester Butterworth.” It gives you a visual that “Martin Ebon,” his real name, does not provide. The joke for me was that reviewers or other writers would occasionally quote Butterworth. Very funny stuff.

Having a quiet chuckle is fine. Believing your own B.S., and promoting it, is another thing, entirely.

Recently, there has been growth in the number of phony awards recognition. These ersatz awards don’t pass the smell test. They are fraudulent in multiple ways.

During my 2-year tenure as NACE National Membership VP, we completely transformed the application and judging process for industry awards. The first challenge was to completely renovate the submission process, making certain subjectivity in judging would be minimized. Documentation was defined, clearly. It now takes time and effort to submit for an award, but the end result is fair, even-handed judging, and industry awards that truly mean something.

Sample award format
Sample award format

The other day, I received a solicitation from the selection committee of the U.S. Local Business Association acknowledging me for an award. Part of the verbiage read, as follows:

The USLBA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

This is unadulterated nonsense. For the price of $80 or $100, I can buy business a plaque touting non-existent achievement, judged by a non-existent selection committee. It’s quite a scam. I’m sure they sell a lot of plaques, though.

The only weaker move would be to actually buy one of these plaques and promote them as reality.  It would be the phoniest of all self-promotion. Yet, I see companies hanging these in their office, and placing plaque images on their websites.

So, I’m calling SHENANIGANS on these companies. If you see a wedding industry business promoting phony award recognition on their website, I’m deputizing you to needle them, directly.

This is bogus and any other similar hype should be called out for what it is: PROPAGANDA.

Andy Ebon - signature



Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog