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Subject: Re: UKNM: Incorrect Use of Client Reference Sites
From: Jonathon Dempster
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 09:45:42 +0100

Kirsty Yes !!!

Whilst working as a part-time consultant for Smartnet, who prior to their
demise, had done work for Jazzfm, Conde Nast, and Christie's, I happened
upon a small company based out of Essex,who had produced a mailer that had
been sent to an Ad Agency with whom I was also doing some work .
I was more than interested to see that said Company had also done
Jazzfm,Conde Nast etc. with Watches of Switzerland thrown in for good
measure. As you would expect I was more than a bit surprised to see this.
So with my Agency hat on I 'phoned the M.D, explaining that I really liked
the work he had done for Jazzfm and that prior to asking him to formally
pitch to me could he talk me through the concept, build, and strategy for
this project.
After 15 minutes of detailed explanation on how this project was pulled
together, I said that I was most impressed with his explanation, but he had
missed a few vital elements in the brief and that if he would like to see
the document that I had written with Jazzfm then I would be more than
pleased to show this to him- after the meeting that I would like to have
with him and his legal people the following Monday.

It turns out that following a brief discuusion regarding a Sales Agency
agreement with a junior memeber of the Sales staff, the MD had presumed that
he could present Smartnet work as his own. While this an extreme case
Kirsty's point raises some relevant questions.

1: If a Web house has done work for a client in the past and that work has
been superceeded by a re-build by another company, is the original companies
claim still valid?

2: Can a Web house who have been asked to re-touch a site that they had no
involvement with the main build of justifiably claim to have said company as
a client ?

3: Can companies who report that, although they have no major wins under
their belts, have staff with extensive experiance of major site builds be

On points 1&2 my thinking is no. Point 3 is a maybe but it would need
careful investigation.
When instucting a Web house I would request to see live work, non-live work
and the specifacation and pitch documentation for that work, prior to
including them on a pitch list.
As well as the usual checks I would also ask for references from those

clients so that I could quickly check the facts if there was any ambiguity.
It is so easy to produce 'white lies' as to the amount of work undertaken by
a Web House, that these checks are the only way of cutting through the

Jonathon Dempster
Purple Interactive- www.purplei.com
Tel 0181742 0607
Mob-0973 133375
l wrote:

> Just wanted to check with you guys to see if you'd experienced the same.
> We have recently found a number of web development companies who have
> been listing reference sites within the clients sections of their web
> sites, but actually not having done any work for them at all. A classic
> example was http://www.zygon.co.uk, where they listed Thomas Cook (one
> of our clients) as theirs. We talked to TC and they agreed with us in
> the fact that this company had never, done any work for them at all. TC
> investigated this further and Zygon have now agreed to take the
> reference out. In fact the only reason it was there was because Zygon
> had placed a sales call with Thomas Cook !! I am appalled that companies
> like this are getting away with it, and I wondered if anyone else had
> experienced anything similar ?
> EMail : kirstieatissolutions [dot] co [dot] uk
> DDI : 01932 893313
> http://www.issolutions.co.uk

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