Tuesday, 25 August 2009

London Marketing Services

***ATTENTION - Misleading Job advertisement***

So I sent a speculative email with my CV attached to a company I saw advertised online via TargetJobs a few months back and now hiring for Cardiff. I enquired as to whether they were still recruiting for London and within two days had received an invite to a preliminary interview. As one can imagine I was excited after two months of unsuccessful job searching. I spent the weekend preparing and came into the interview on Monday 24th July 2009 at 4pm raring to go.

The first thing I noticed was that the buzzer on the door of the building was labelled in what looked like hand-writing. On entering the building there were printed signs directing visitors downstairs to basement offices. The office itself was nice, with comfy leather chairs but the walls were painted one yellow, one red (the company branding as appears on the 'official' website is blue and white on black)...branding being one of the most important aspects of Marketing. The two South African receptionists were extremely pleasant and friendly but the room was packed with at least 15 other potential employees being interviewed at the same time as me...most suited and booted...others dressed more casually (hoodies and trainers anyone?? to a Marketing job interview NOT for Nike! another in a denim mini and flip flops).

I was interviewed by a pleasant and confident Scandanavian guy who basically explained the structure of the company in a general 'overview' without actually disclosing the entry-level duties, just saying that we have to be good with dealing with rejection and bouncing back. Some of the interviews were also conducted two at the time (strange in itself), but we were told because there were so many people being interviewed the session would just be an initial screening process. I thought it was just a strategy to see how we dealt with an unexpected situation.

Apparently I was right, it was their strategy but not for the reasons I thought. They didn't want us asking difficult questions in front of another person being interviewed and the funniest part was, it worked! Everybody knows that you don't ask what the salary is at the initial interview, and on speaking to the administrator I was informed 'generally between £250 and 400 pw, therefore I suspected it was a commission-based role. We were given no other indications at the interview and on leaving it the other guy said he'd gotten a job offer at a similar company the previous week 100% commission-based and no guarantees. I therefore decided to do more searching online regarding this company (there wasn't much to begin with).

But not before I got the callback at 5.30pm for the second stage 'interview' which was to take place the following day, observing the job role. I was told to wear comfortable shoes.

I found two blogs online which had been googled under 'London Marketing Services scam', and in it there were people who'd experienced the same deal, except some had gone back to the 'second interview' only to be taken an hour by bus across London to a housing estate, trying to obtain direct debit bank details for a charity door-to-door from 1pm-8pm. I figured this wasn't really for me and emailed the company back to say I would not be attending the next day as a commission-based salary with no basic is not something I'm keen on especially in this economic climate.

The problem I had with this whole thing was the misleading way with which it was all conducted, in what seems like an attempt to obtain a day's free labour. Sure, fewer people would have applied for it had they known the real deal but there are still many who would have gone for it as a stepping stone into a Sales career. It seems they are mainly out to lure: 1) fresh graduates desperate for work, and 2) newly arrived foreigners, under false pretences.

Before I emailed back I also consulted my other half and on being asked more questions (like, 'where was it based?) we figured it was the same place (albeit possibly under a different name) he'd gotten his first job on arrival to London from Johannesburg in the winter of 2003 (the company said they'd been around for seven years so I thought that was about right too). He did end up making £50 a day around Christmas time selling toys door to door, which would be a pretty good gig right now however in the current economic climate, I wouldn't bet on earning a good enough salary through commission.

I don't mean to be completely negative about the job itself, as I think its great for people looking to get their first sales role for their CV but personally, with five years of previous work experience and a 1st class degree I'm holding out for something with a basic salary. Good Luck to all who pursue it though! If I can just inform a few more people from this blog about the real nature of companies like this (no wage advertised for starters) then all the better. For now I will be looking for work experience in reputable companies which I'd really like to work for.


  1. you hit the nail right on the head girl!!! Good for you. You deserve better as you are articulate and smart. They are 'scammers' of the lowest order and somehow manage to sleep well at night. Not for long.....

    Good luck job hunting.

  2. Thanks so much for making other people like me aware of scammers like this.

    I googled the company to find out more about them as I too had been offered a preliminary interveiw. So happy I didn't waste my time but upset that they got my hopes up!

    I hope you found the job you set out for :)

  3. I wish i had seen your blog before : i wouldn't have lost time + money (underground up to zone 6 for three days) ! :(

  4. I don't think you're being completely negative as it is a COMPLETE SCAM. London Marketing Services and lookalikes. EA Marketing is also a scam (surprise, surprise, they are located in the same building in SHAND STREET LONDON SE1 2ES) What pisses me off is that companies like Reed, Trovit jobs and Gumtree still accept their adverts... SO KEEP THE BLOGS COMING. Graduates do not deserve this sort of treatment from deceiving companies. I was completely scammed and now I just have my anger when it comes to this bastards. Work with NO COMISSION and being taken to stinky housing states in East London and talk to pikeys to sell CRAP? Is that what people need?

  5. Sell Crap????

    I dont see raising money for charities as selling crap!!!

    I dont see saving people money on phone bills as selling crap!!!

    I dont see offering hard working people the chance to treat loved ones with cosmetics usualy in the price range of only the rich and famous as selling crap!!!

    If this company is a scam, I would find it very hard to believe that huge multinational companies such as the carphone warehouse, victoria jackson, vodaphone, scottish power, tesco, argos, selfridges... to name but a few would be asking them to work on their behalf!

    The type of work at the entry level may be hard and different to what people may expect to do at entry level, but isnt it the same in any company??? no one gets a job straight away as a commander in the armed forces or CEO of a supermarket chain!!! You have to work hard from the bottom up!!!... exactly the same with these companies!

    Ask yourself this one question...

    If it is a scam then why wouldnt the authorities get involved and close them down???... after all they havent moved to another location they stay where they are!

    I followed these blogs for a while after being slightly suspicious a few months back when offered an interview at a similar place! .. Guess what I gave it a chance saw the bigger picture and oppertunity on offer and havent looked back since!... Its not for everyone granted but just because it works a little different to what we are force fed as the "norm" doesnt really make it a scam now does it!

    And before anyone blogs about brainwashing and all the other bollox i have seen on blogs like this dont bother...... I am not a young wet behind the ears graduate, i have been round the block and have a lot of life experience as an ex soldier and ex police officer so know a con when I see one and this surely isnt one, its a great oppertunity to work in a very very fun environment make lots of money as long as you apply what is taught to you and develop yourself along the way!

    Yeah the role is 100% commision based, but dont you think it makes business sense to do that as the company only charges its clients for the sales they make??? would be stupid to pay people a basic if they were to go out, be lazy and make no sales instead just sit in the warm pub all afternoon!!!! Also means you get to write your own paycheck! you get out what you put in!

    May sound a bit rantish (if thats a word) but I am pretty peeved with the fact that something although yeah not the normal way, but a way that really works all the same can be deemed as an instant scam!

    I would say just give it a go and if its not for you then what have you lost??? a couple of days out of your whole lives... no biggey!

    One last thing... the second round interview... you are only there to observe the basic entry level role not to actually do any sales you observe and get told about the role and oppertunity at the same time being assessed on your suitibility for a position... same way other companies work!!!!!

  6. Okay sunshine, calm down, you must be atleast 40 years old to have been a police officer and in the army, and I am certain that everyone I saw at the first interview were aged between 20 and 25. Furthermore I was forced to make a sale on my second interview. My friend works for LMS and believes he is doing very well for himself. All I know is I was making more money promoting Intel products in store that wasn't commission based. I don't believe what LMS are doing is illegal, however do firmly think that it is unethical and immoral especially the way the role is advertised.

  7. Gary, you have clearly been brainwashed, or you wouldn't be getting so defensive!

    I think when people talk about these companies being 'a SCAM', what they mean is by the way job openings are advertised. They give a false perception to people about what the job is all about, by mentioning 'advertising' and 'marketing' in their ads. They usually don't mention the word 'sales' which is the biggest role in the job itself.

    What they also do, which is misleading, is fail to tell you what the role entails, until they have dropped you off at the scummy council estates for you to find out for yourself. Ok, the products and services that they are selling do generally offer customers better value for money – granted. But, organisations such as N-Power (which was a service/product I was asked to sell on my ‘observation day’), though cheaper than British Gas, do not offer a better all-round service. So, how can a product/service be sold when the seller does not even believe in it?

    Also, the speech’s and conferences (like Cobra Group) by the people at the top of the pyramids in these organisations are constantly pumped into the employees faces on a daily basis, giving them a false perception of what this kind of structure is all about. They try to make you feel important and part of one big successful family, when in reality, you are just another pawn, being used at the bottom of the pile, earning the serious money for the people on top of the pyramid.

    The potential earnings of £100k-£150k in the first year (which I was told was the case) are just not realistic. If this was really the case, then far more people would be doing this as a career. In reality, to earn anything near that in this line of work, you would have to work ridiculous hours and give away your social life (and sanity) in the process. Jobs like these only have one primary focus -MONEY! Don’t be fooled by these people – the only reason they fill your head with crap is because they want you on their team. The more people they have on their team, the more money they are likely to make and the less hours they are likely to work.

  8. Rebecca Heijkoop6 May 2010 at 17:33

    Thank you for having this in your blog, I myself had a call a few minutes ago and I thought it already strange, I mean, they called me after not even an hour, their site wasn't working and they aren't listed anywhere.. But this time it's called livelimited --' Thank you so much, I have no money at all (I'm still waiting for my money to arrive from overseas and just spend my last pounds on some drink and bread that have to last like a week) so I am desperate to find a job, but this is just mean ..

  9. A rather correct blog on the subject Livon.
    I have just had an email from Monster Marketing Direct based in London inviting me to interview next week. The thing that made me suspicious is that the email and attachment are almost identical to an email I recieved from Red Planet Marketing a few months ago.
    I went to that 1st stage interview, was indeed sat in a shabby, multicoloured waiting room with 20 other people, and interviewed alongside two others. I had sent my C.V. for an Administrative role and soon realised it didn't exist. I said thank you but I do not want to work in sales and left.
    The main problem I have with companies such as these are that they advertise for a role that doesn't exist and waste my time.
    Also, to Gary, the reason that big companies use sales groups like these are that they are sub contracted through larger groups such as Cobra and are cheap as fuck to hire. Scottish Power, Tesco, Vodafone, all cut as many corners as possible to get the cheapest labour, and this is no different. Those three mentioned are also horrible companies to work for.
    Anyway, I need to email Monster Marketing now to tell them where to go.


  10. Hey guys I received and e-mail from Monster Marketing Direct Ltd.based in old street, london asking me to come for an interview next week. I am so unsure if I should really go or is it just a scam. Please help.

  11. Hi, they're still at it. I had an interview with A1 last week (it became evident that it was a door to door role and NOT a customer service role as originally stated). I got a call from Galaxy Marketing and UNIK Corp. both based in the same building as A1 ( 1 BATH STREET, AVOID IT!) and under the same company (EA WORLDWIDE). urgh.

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  17. Thanks so much for doing this blog guys. I got an interview given to me for today, and i did think it was a bit fishy and was considering not going. Now im definatly not going.

  18. Waste of time i had an interview last week in OLD STREET they were saying that they work for SKY to bring the customers but thank god i didnt go for the second one which is tommorrow

  19. Thanks a lot for doing this blog. I seem to be the most recent victim. I got an email from monster marketing direct for an interview for tomorrow. I also got a missed call today from this number 02073360060 which I googled to find out who called me and here we go, I found so many bad reviews about monster marketing direct, and all their "branches".
    Thanks a lot for all the information. I definitely do not want to waste my time on such a dodgy company.

  20. I am so glad I googled this company and your blog came up as I just got an email offering me an interview - they have send me 4 emails now which i thought was strange as I have not even had a phone call really begging me to go for this job.

  21. Hello,

    I just want to say, THANKYOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS BLOG!! I got the email and telephone call today with an interview on friday (2 days away). As per usual i got all excited on deicding what to wear, looking up directions etc etc.. of course being at uni was desperate for money! i followed the website link on the email and thought it was a little strange, soon finding blog after blog of about how this company is door to door selling and leave you in the middle of nowhere - no thankyou! I really appreciate it, you've saved a lot of people time and money!

    Jess X