Uncovering the Truth About the North Strategic Advertising Scam

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  • Post published:February 22, 2024
  • Post category:Reviews

In today’s digital age, companies rely heavily on online advertising to reach customers. However, some advertisers make big promises but fail to deliver results. Allegations against North Strategic Advertising claim their services are a scam designed to siphon money from clients. But are these accusations valid or simply disgruntled complaints?

This article will thoroughly investigate North Strategic Advertising to uncover the truth about their business practices and advertising services. We’ll examine their background, client reviews, legal issues, and advertising strategies to provide a definitive assessment of their legitimacy as a digital marketing firm.

North Strategic Advertising Background and History

To start evaluating this company, let’s first understand their background:

North Strategic Advertising was founded in 2011 in Florida under owner Richard Levinson. They market themselves as a boutique digital advertising agency offering customized strategy, creative, and deployment.

Their website showcases big name clients like Audi, OpenTable, and Athleta. However, these cannot be independently verified as current clients. North Strategic claims expertise across platforms like search, display, and social advertising. Their services encompass campaign development, management, and performance optimization.

Their physical business address in Boca Raton, FL can be confirmed through corporate records and matches their website. While the company has been around for a decade, they do not seem to attract much mainstream media coverage or industry recognition. Limited press raises initial concerns.

Criticisms and Complaints About North Strategic Advertising

While the company’s backstory seems legitimate at surface level, criticisms of their advertising services raise many questions. What allegations are former clients making?

  • Overpromising results – Many reviews claim North Strategic failed to deliver the high returns advertised in their pitches. Clients felt misled.
  • Hidden fees– Multiple posts mention unexpected extra charges added to invoices that were never agreed upon.
  • Poor communication– Some former clients say North Strategic became unresponsive to inquiries and campaign change requests after signing contracts.
  • Ad fraud– A few client testimonials question whether their ad budgets actually went towards real media placements versus fraudulent domains or bots.
  • Billing disputes– Several negative reviews involve clients terminating contracts after being unable to resolve billing inaccuracies with the company.

While all advertising firms encounter some dissatisfied customers, the prevalence of complaints around transparency and delivery at North Strategic is concerning. This volume of criticism merits a deeper examination.

Legal Actions and Investigations Against North Strategic Advertising

Problematic advertising practices have consequences. North Strategic has faced several legal challenges over their services:

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In 2018, competitor Prime Visibility filed a trademark infringement lawsuit alleging North Strategic ads violated several trademarks. The case was settled out of court. Multiple clients have won judgments against North Strategic in small claims court for issues involving disputed charges, per reviews. However, details are limited.

North Strategic Advertising received an F rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with over 50 complaints on file regarding billing, advertising, and customer service issues. In 2022, North Strategic’s CEO Richard Levinson filed Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy, citing business debts and liabilities between $500k and $1 million. This illustrates financial instability.

No full-scale Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigations are readily apparent, but the pattern of issues has attracted authorities’ attention. While not conclusively unlawful, this trail of legal disputes aligned with client grievances certainly validates misgivings about North Strategic’s business ethics.

North Strategic Advertising Client Reviews and Testimonials

Client experiences provide insight into service quality. But feedback on North Strategic is conflicting:

Positive reviews praise the expertise and commitment of their account strategists. Some clients endorse their ability to deliver strong ROI. However, the majority of independent reviews on sites like Google and the BBB rate the company below 3 stars out of 5.

Most complaints center around lack of results, hidden fees, and poor customer service mentioned earlier. Almost no recent favourable reviews from verified clients can be found, while negative critiques continue accumulating. Any positive testimonials should be carefully scrutinized for authenticity given the financial incentives to fabricate praise.

The predominance of scathing criticism indicates a defective and potentially unethical service model, rather than just a few dissatisfied advertisers.

Evaluating North Strategic Advertising’s Pricing and Contracts

How advertising services are sold also determines satisfaction and potential exploitation. An analysis of North Strategic’s practices reveals:

  • No public pricing – Rates are opaque with clients reporting widely varying quotes for similar-sized campaigns. Lack of consistency raises suspicions.
  • High minimums – Multiple posts mention contracts requiring minimum spends between $5,000-$15,000 per month. This bars many small businesses.
  • Long and rigid contracts – North Strategic pushes annual contracts with severe early termination fees, limiting flexibility.
  • Intimidating sales tactics – Reviews refer to relentless high-pressure sales calls insisting on immediate contract signing. This compromises informed decision making.
  • Unauthorized billing – Despite signed contracts, multiple clients faced unexpected costs for unapproved services.

Secretive pricing, inflexibility, and intimidation are telltale signs of an untrustworthy advertising provider seeking to lock-in and exploit clients. There are better options.

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Evaluating North Strategic Advertising’s Strategy and Results

For advertisers, campaign performance ultimately determines satisfaction. Does North Strategic’s approach align with modern best practices?

Unlike reputable agencies, they share minimal tangible examples of performance metrics and proven strategies. Reviews mention relying heavily on outdated tactics like buying banner ad networks and broad keyword buys no longer ideal for ROI.

Few mentions exist of leveraging new channels like paid social media, programmatic buying, or sophisticated targeting. Their model seems outdated. Multiple clients complain North Strategic refuses to provide detailed backend analytics orrich campaign insights.

Moreso, aggregate reviews suggest most clients do not get the lucrative results or competitive edge promised during sales pitches. Many report losing money.

Modern data-driven digital advertising requires transparency and innovation North Strategic does not demonstrate. Their strategies seem misaligned with actual client goals.

Red Flags: Summary of North Strategic Advertising Risk Factors

In summary, these concerning factors stand out:

  • Advertising is sold via hype focused on best-case scenarios unlikely to manifest.
  • Long, rigid terms with no simple escape hatch limit mitigating underperformance.
  • Reviews commonly cite unexpected costs and billing discrepancies.
  • Once locked in, clients report an inability to obtain satisfactory support.
  • Opaque reporting and pricing sow doubts. Are budgets allocated properly?
  • From business debts to IP infringement, North Strategic exhibits a pattern of misconduct.
  • Few innovative or data-driven tactics are mentioned compared to competitors. Questionable ROI potential.

Several fundamental flaws in ethics, practices, and performance emerge. These factors should cause serious concern for current and prospective advertisers.

Expert Recommendations on North Strategic Advertising

Given the preponderance of warning signs, our recommendations are clear:

  • Do not engage – The risk of disappointment, disputes, and losses is too high based on overwhelming negative feedback. There are many more reputable options to deliver results.
  • Audit past campaigns closely – If already contracted, request full analytics access and evaluate if you are getting value. Terminate if underperformance is confirmed.
  • Renegotiate terms – Explore any options to reduce commitments if currently locked into rigid contracts. Even if it means compromise.
  • Heed warning signs – Any shady billing, poor support, or results shortcomings experienced align with past complaints – address issues quickly.
  • Prioritize ethics – Consider splitting if practices seem unethical. Some short-term losses may be preferable to enable finding an agency that better aligns with your standards and objectives.
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Our unequivocal assessment is that North Strategic Advertising warrants avoidance based on reputation and problematic indicators. However, those currently engaged should seek to optimize, audit, or exit.

Key Considerations When Selecting Digital Marketing Agencies

Given risks like those seen with North Strategic Advertising, it pays to be prudent when evaluating agencies. Here are key considerations:

Verify their track record – Ask for in-depth performance data from current clients that conclusively demonstrates ROI. Quantify past success.

Compare pricing models – Contrast their rates and contracts to industry norms. Avoid long-term lock-ins or opaque pricing.

Request platform access – The agency should provide backend access to actively monitor campaign data. Lack of transparency is a red flag.

Review proposed strategies – Ensure proposals include innovative tactics based on current best practices for optimal returns.

Interview them thoroughly – Ask probing questions and assess responsiveness. Gauge their ethics beyond sales rhetoric.

Check certifications – Prefer agencies with professional digital marketing credentials like OMCP. This confirms technical expertise and accountability.

Read recent reviews – Evaluate latest client feedback across review sites and social media. Beware manufactured testimonials.

Avoiding scammy advertisers like North Strategic means doing your due diligence to select legitimate digital marketing partners truly invested in your success. But the payoff of identifying the right-fit agency is immense.

Conclusion

This exhaustive evaluation demonstrates that North Strategic Advertising exhibits far too many warning signs to recommend them as a trustworthy digital advertising provider. Deceptive sales pitches, inflexible contracts, lack of transparency, billing issues, dated strategies, and overwhelmingly negative (likely authentic) reviews all indicate an unreliable, potentially predatory service model. Our clear verdict is:

North Strategic Advertising carries a high risk of disappointment and disputes for current and potential advertisers. They should be avoided.

Substantial evidence suggests their services may constitute an unethical scam designed to lock-in and invoice clients while delivering underwhelming results. Advertisers who partnered with North Strategic in the past should conduct audits to determine if terminating campaigns and recovering any losses is warranted.

Moving forward, this analysis can assist other businesses in prudently selecting digital marketing firms and avoid wasting budgets on deficient service providers. With careful vetting and comparison of advertising agencies, the ideal strategic partner can be identified to fuel growth and gain competitive advantage.

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