YUKON, Okla. (KFOR) – Lauren Beauregard of Yukon has been in wedding photography now for nearly a decade.
“I wanted to take pictures of my kids, and then it just kinda went from there,” she explained. “Haven't really looked back. I love it.”
But this wedding world is ultra competitive. Local businesses try and find an edge through local ads in publications.
So when Lauren recently got a phone call with an offer, she was all ears.
“He was wanting me to advertise as the wedding photographer for members of a country club,” she said.
‘He’ was a man named Frank with ‘Birdie Publishing LLC’, and Lauren says Frank claimed his magazine worked with local country clubs.
He even provided a club list through email, but she wasn’t sold.
“They send these to their members so that they have a directory that they can look from and book local people from,” Lauren said. “The more he was talking about what he was wanting, it just seemed really sketchy.”
Lauren did some digging, as did In Your Corner.
Birdie features a flashy website, dedicated to delivering to “desirable clientele”, through delivering to golf communities and country clubs.
Their mission statement reads in part, “We feel that the golf communities and country clubs we distribute to embody homeowners and consumers of above average incomes and above average integrity.”
But their BB profile is less than stellar, with an F-rating. To date they have seven one-star reviews, with several businesses claiming their advertisement never saw the light of day.
“Essentially they took the money and then they just didn't see the magazine,” Lauren said, describing the online complaints. “The magazine wasn't distributed, they wouldn't refund the money.”
Oh, and that list of local country clubs? News 4 called all four, and no one had heard of Birdie.
On paper, the company is based out of Florida. So we gave Frank a call.
When asked exactly what the company does, Frank claimed their magazine is blasted out not to the country clubs as their mission statement describes, but only to homes in country club zip codes.
When pressed though, we were pushed up the ladder to a manager. We eventually were told we’d be called back by a manager, but that call never came.
Birdie’s website does feature their “latest publication”, which is filled with businesses from the East Coast, seemingly distributed last summer.
We called every business in the ad. All who answered say they received zero customers from the publication, and that they would not use Birdie again.
“It just really rubs me wrong that they would try to take advantage of someone who wants to do that,” added Lauren. “Wants to have a successful business.”
Lauren also tells us that very shortly after denying Frank with Birdie Publishing, she received an email from a ‘Frank Snowman’, who wanted to do business. She declined.
The In Your Corner bottom line, when picking publications to advertise with, stick with local reputable businesses and make sure to look for references.