Tuesday 15 September 2015

Strategic Five Marketing: A Scam?

Has anyone come across the organisation Strategic Five Marketing ?

It seems to me that they are conning graduates. I know of three, now, who were enticed with prospects of Graduate Management Schemes, only to discover it is commission-only door-to-door selling.

Here’s the spec for the role:

Graduate Management Program 
Graduate Progression Opportunity - No Working Experience Required
Strategic Five Marketing are an ever growing outsource sales and promotions company specialising in face-to-face customer acquisition, branding and management - and affiliated with the Nations biggest blue chip brands within the industries of telecoms, beauty, charity, electronics and entertainment, and fresh produce. 
With graduation looming, we are now looking for the next generation of ambitious and career driven candidates excited to embrace a graduate opportunity, with full training provided, to kick start their careers.
Graduate Management Candidates must be:
Customer focused and confident to build rapports with our customer and client portfolio.Be coachable to embrace creative marketing and branding methods.Career driven and competitive to progress towards team leader, campaign co-ordinator, and marketing management positions.Enthusiastic to learn business sectors including finance, recruitment and HRProfessional and articulate to work alongside the Nations biggest brandsPrevious candidates of the Graduate Management Program 2014 have come from backgrounds of business management, art and design, sports and leisure/ coaching, and also applied backgrounds such as sciences, law and performing arts. 
Successful Candidates will be Offered:
Full training and on-going mentoringInvite to National and local social and corporate eventsInternational and National travel opportunitiesCareer progression and business developmentCareer stability and full time positions
For a graduate looking for work in a tough market, that sounds quite appealing. 

The third of the three I know of was pleased to be invited to an interview, and even more pleased when invited back for the following Monday. Initially he thought it was for a second interview, but then found it was for a day of working with them to see what it’s like. However, over the weekend a friend told him that it was a scam to lure people in to unpaid door-to-door selling.

A mutual friend takes up the story:

So they refused to admit that it was commission based door to door sales right up until the last minute! He phoned ahead to ask what he'd be doing and was told he'd be with someone from accounts. Peter from accounts took him to meet the clients in Sunderland and said that he wouldn't describe it as door to door sales, when asked, although the clients were in their houses and he was knocking on their doors trying to sell them stuff!! In what sense he was from accounts it never emerged, because his job was selling not accounting. Very nutty!  

Another friend has pointed me at these organisations, which, while apparently unrelated, seem to have similar feel: DS-MAX and The Cobra Group

I would particularly urge my academic friends and colleagues to let their graduates and their career services know about this. If people want to go into commission-only door-to-door selling, that’s fine by me (I suppose, grudgingly) but not under false pretences.

Oh, and I notice that Strategic Five has four corporate values, of which the first is Honesty, and the third, Respect. I’ve already dropped them a line, and will, of course, report back their response, if any… I did enter a 'visitor post' on their Facebook page, politely asking about this. It has not been posted. In fact, no visitor posts have been posted. I wonder why?


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  2. I've just found this while looking to see if this company is still operating. I went to an interview with this company about 2 weeks after you wrote this post. If only I had found it then. I've also seen your post on their facebook page. Although not approved, I do wonder how it can be seen.
    There were also a couple of other companies based in that office too (I saw people filling in the forms). Luckily my other half found out it was a scam as I left the office from my interview, so when I was called back I was able to decline.
    Good on you for warning people about this company. It is shocking how they scam people. I know Advertising Standard Agency have investigated them interestingly.

  3. i worked for them for a week, it is a complete scam, it's like being in a cult