The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
SMI, SMI and Associates, Sports Marketing InternationalDishonest, Misleading Job Scam Takes Advantage of Young, Naive Job Seekers

Sports Marketing International, SMI and Associates, SMI is a scam! Their ads are up all over the internet. CareerBuilder,, Companies like this constantly change their name to avoid being found out and to avoid prosecution... their former name was Boomerang Marketing.

They will tell you they have "big wig" clients like the White Sox. This is NOT marketing. It is door-to-door dishonest soliciting. Dishonest to consumers and dishonest to their employees.

Please do not fall for their schemes! Sports Marketing International (SMI and Associates), and the like, prey on young, naive college graduates, servers, athletes. Sports Marketing International doesn't do a stitch of marketing consulting work for any sports teams (or any other place for that matter). This is straight up dishonest sales. If you are still working at SMI and Associates, I beg you to get out now!

Oh, and as an independant contractor (as that is how Sports Marketing International will "hire" you) you ARE required to file your sales on your taxes. The "manager" at this place (Greg) is encouraging employees at SMI and Associates to participate in illegal activities, such as soliciting in governmentally protected non-soliciting areas, and not file taxes. He is putting you in very illegal situations and manipulating you!

It is NOT normal to work long 10 hour days and no even be on the company's payroll. You are NOT your own manager (as the company tries to make you think you are), you have a sly, manipulative, fast-talking boss standing over your shoulder telling you you can't leave until you have sold all of your items!

Please, I beg you to NOT apply to this company, or anything affiliated with Doug Ascher, SmartCircle, SMI and Associates, or Sports Marketing International.


  • Ka
    kafeuae May 24, 2012

    my name is Ali

    in UAE


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  • Ka
    kafeuae May 24, 2012



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  • St
    star_artst Aug 16, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I just moved to the LA area and like most of the posters. I too went to school for graphic design. While in school, I was sucked into retail management to pay for school. It has taught me a lot about customer service and branding. What people see, think when they see marketing, what makes them buy. Customers can be crazy. They want the bottle that is COMPLETELY FULL and pay NOTHING for it. Currently I am still a retail manager and have been looking for Marketing and Advertising jobs. I didnt want to loose focus of my goal which it is to promote events for better causes, whether they be for hospitals, cancer awareness, going green. I want something bigger, that educates the community and world about ways to protect themselves or help themselves in someway. So in the past few weeks, I have been looking for jobs. I replied to the craigslist ad for a company Prestige Marketing Inc and there are a few other listed but I didnt apply, bc I know nothing about sports. I felt this would be great! I have retail experience and management experience, and I want to be in Marketing and Promotions. This could be my first step into the industry. I got a cal this morning form an odd number. (818)907- ****, they left a message to call the back, yet when you call it immediately hangs up. I called [protected] (the number which was left on my voice mail). The text says, "User Busy" and hangs up. I went to their website and the numbers listed are both faxes, though one says Office (818-907-7469fax and 818-907-0749office). At this point, I logged onto my account to email you directly and I came across this message sent this morning from your team. The number listed [protected] is a disconnected number. This to me sounds like they do not want to be reached. For a company to be as large as it says it is and doesn't have a single working number.. make me have suspicious thoughts about who they are and what they are really doing. So, I looking up the number through google search and came across these complaints. Sound all too familiar. they sent an email this morning saying they wanted to set up an pre-interview and background check, then an email saying she forwarded my info to the hiring manager for an interview bc she feels I am a strong candidate.

    odd how we never spoke yet she wants to move forward, please be careful when looking for jobs, the type and resentation may seem great but there are many dishonest ppl in the world and think where you live.. LA, capital of acting. They can talk the talk, but make sure they support what they say. If it doesn't add up, then something is wrong.

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  • Co
    Coupon Seller Jul 27, 2010

    I worked for Lindsay Fatta's LBF Advertising in Burbank almost ten years ago. It was an offshoot of Matt Kelly's Orange County office. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the time I spent working there. It's very interesting to see that these guys are still operating under their third or fourth name. I've read a couple of these responses and thought I'd add my own personal experience.
    There are things I learned working for this business that I still carry with me today. I learned to be early to everything, how to build, break, build (A very useful tool when teaching a trade or skill), and most importantly, that a positive attitude helps you accomplish twice your goals.
    But despite those few bonuses, the entire DS-Max, Cydcoor, SMI, or whatever they are calling themselves this week, is a hustle. For all of you defenders out there, consider this: They lie to you FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. Saying that they only have 6 spots available out of 25 applicants is a complete falsehood. If you're an owner, you take every single applicant. Why wouldn't you? That's another warm body out their earning you money. Now if this were a real business, they would just be straight with you. I mean if the opportunity is so good, why do they use "fear of loss" to get you to take the job? Same thing with that "We've never had a layoff" line. Of course they haven't. Why fire someone who you never have to pay?
    Also, this job is dangerous. You are knocking on the door of one hundred complete strangers a day. I sometimes found myself hawking Pizza Hut coupons in gang territory. I had guns pulled on me as I stepped onto people's property. I was even attacked by a pit-bull and had to spend the night in an emergency room. Lucky for me, I had my own car so if I ever felt truly in danger I could get away quickly. I would tell Lindsay and the team leader about the dangerous territory only to see them send a small 18 year old girl out to the same spot the next day. I heard horror stories from a lot of the women who were put in some bad situations while trying to get a 25 dollar check from a guy.
    I built a pretty big team more than once, and people above me would point at situations like mine and say "See, it can be done!" But they always lied when they promoted someone's situation. I heard them tell new guys that I rang the bell every day, that I was on the verge of ownership. When the new guys would ask about it, I'd tell them the truth. I share an apartment with 5 people and was barely scraping by. I would get pulled aside and told to project like I was doing better than I actually was. That didn't sit right with me.
    Finally, to anyone in the business right now. I ask you to take a good hard look at where you are. Are you living in a place you like? Are you truly getting out of this business what you are putting into it? Are your taxes in order (This is a big one, especially if you've had someone in management "teach" you how to do your taxes, because you are a cash business -remember : Independent Contractor- you have a huge target on your back when it comes to audits)? If your answer is no to any of the above, you should walk. Believe me, go out there and apply that 5 and 8 at a real job and you'll be shocked at the opportunities you'll find opening up to you and the promotions coming your way.

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  • Dg
    DG90265 Mar 16, 2010

    I would like to know why Sams Club cares so little about their customers that they would bring in such a scam into the stores.
    Ring Sams club corporate office and ask why they support a compay that is lying to the customers?

    Let's get them out of Sams club


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  • Ch
    chicagogirl Dec 19, 2009

    I just went on an interview with SMI today and I hate to break it to you believers, but it is all a scam. My interview was scheduled for 1030 this morning and when I got there they made me wait for 20 minutes before they even talked to me. The office was tiny and the "suite" consisted of what seemed to only be 2 offices and one break room. They were playing B96 in the "lobby" where I was waiting (real professional, guys) and when answering the phones instead of saying, "Sports Marketing International", the receptionist was answering as a different name, which now I can't remember.

    My interview with Kelley, who is supposed to be a partner in the company, only lasted about 10 minutes. All he did was ramble on about what they do, the structure of their 6-10 month training program, and asked me a few questions whose answers could clearly be found on my resume that Kelley was looking at. There was no mention of salary, benefits, hours, or even a job title I would have. He informed me that he was interviewing 15 people and that only 4 would make the cut. At the end of the interview he left no room for me to ask questions that I had (again, highly unprofessional) and said I would hear back from them between 4 and 430 if I got a second interview. When I walked out of the office there were about 6 people waiting on the lobby for their interviews. The one thing I noticed was that they were all considerably older than me. I was clearly the only "applicant" fresh out of college.

    I was not expecting to hear back because I thought the interview was terrible, but sure enough at about 405 my phone rang and it was Kelley telling me, "Congratulations! I've narrowed our list of 15 down to 4 and you made the cut". I'm assuming I "made the cut" strictly because of my age. I was told that they wanted me to come in on Monday for a full day (9-630) to spend time with their team and see them in action. I was told to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. This day, however, was apparently supposed to be a second interview. I don't know about you, but I've never heard of an interview lasting 9 hours. And why would they bring someone into the field who isn't even hired yet?

    I decided to do a little more research about the company and stumbled upon this site. Thank you for all the comments from people exposing the scams of this "business". Makes me feel a lot better about not returning on Monday. I'm going to save my time, energy, and gas. And to the 3 people out there that are defending this company - you're full of ###.

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  • An
    ANGRY very ANGRY Dec 09, 2009

    I have been working so hard for the past 3 years since i graduated...never did i think i could find a decent job where i could build with the company and get a job right away as an in training manager.

    I took time out of my day to help these jerks sell fake gift cards so some guy could sit pretty and drive his nice car around and sit in a beautiful home on 6acres so i couldnt get a ###in pay check!!! YOURE OUT OF YOUR MIND!!! i have never felt so let down in my life...this absolutely gives me no hope for my future..

    i spent the last 30 dollars in my pocket so i could put gas in my car to drive 40mins away, work 10 hours at an event i didnt get paid for, and drive home in a snow storm..thanks alot doug ascher i hope you dont end up in jail by the way!

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  • Is
    ISU Grad Dec 09, 2009

    I sent them my resume through and they sent me an e-mail urging me them to call them as soon as I was free, as it has been finals week (and I got my computer stolen over thanksgiving break) I haven't had time to deal with it. I got a voicemail today from a woman named Shannon about an interview, which seemed...well, desperate. I'm glad I did a little research before I got my hopes up too high.

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  • Ch
    Chicago-boy Dec 08, 2009

    Got called today by a Lauren, and had also received an email yesterday, the very same one that was copy pasted a couple of posts up there. I had submitted my ### resume (as in "No marketing experience at all whatsoever" ) at careerbuilder and got a response in the evening. Gotta say, since I'd been job hunting for a while and been sending emails out for quite a while, I was really jumping for joy when I got that email. Since I didn't leave a definite answer with Lauren, I decided to do some research and found this website.

    I'm glad I didn't have to endure the travel to Lombard, and that I didn't have to go through some bs interviews and followups, but I'm feeling really salty right about now.

    Oh, and they're called EVOLUTION Advertising. Here's their pathetic website:

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  • Fe
    FeelsStupid Nov 19, 2009

    While never having worked for the company, I can tell you everything that has been posted about the hiring/interview process is absolutely correct. I went to the first interview and reading some of these posts makes me think that everyone was sitting in on my interview, that's how eerily similar they were. And guess what? I got that call back at 5:30 pm that evening stating I was one of the top candidates. I thought to myself...I have no marketing experience and this is what I thought was a marketing position??? How could I be a top pick with zip for experience? Thank god for Google search and this blog otherwise I would have been that poor sap following someone around in the rain all day today, wondering what my life had come to. Hopefully, this bog will save more people from the experience.

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  • Mo
    modestmisfit Oct 23, 2009

    wow, literally close to a hundred or more resumes and cover letters sent out since my graduation in April and the only interview i get turns out to be a scam! haha, that a little depressing, but i owe everyone on this post a HUGE debt of gratitude (aside from the jerk-offs trying to save SMI and their ### affiliates) for saving me the 3 hour drive to Lombard, IL, just to catch the punch-line to one of the sickest jokes you could play on under-experienced recent graduates entering a terrible job market that would literally cling to any glimpse of opportunity.

    Thank You, and best of luck to everyone on finding a LEGITIMATE career.

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  • Hi all, wanted to say thanks for the heads up on this company. I applied to their hotjobs ad and got a call for an interview shortly after. I asked, "wait a second, can you tell me a little bit about this position and what I would be doing before I drive to Lombard, IL for an interview?" The lady paused for one moment and said "Certainly, you would be doing business to business sales" and then said this is an entry level position which leads to management, etc. I paused and asked if I would be prospecting by cold calling and she said I wouldn't do ANY cold calling or prospecting. told her I wouldn't be interested in the position. It doesn't make any sense to do business to business sales with zero cold calling. It's an oxymoron.

    All that said, the only reaso I questioned her about the position is because of the postings I saw on here. So thank you all again! Im sure I wouldn't have taken the position, but you all saved me a few hours of getting ready and going to this interview!

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  • Ds
    DSM Sep 09, 2009

    Ya I got the same email as eli_jr. I emailed them just stating I was no longer interested. Glad I found this before driving all the way to Lombard.

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  • So
    someguy3 Sep 04, 2009

    I actually worked for the company in Lombard very recently and can tell you it is a little sketchy..i first went to the interview and when i walked in there were already 6 guys sitting in what kind of professional company interviews everyone at once pretty much? not many..the interview was short and he said hed call me..sure enough i got the 2nd interview which was a ton of walking and i had no idea it was door to door sales...anyways i took the job just because i needed some money and everything they tell you sounds oh so peachy...needless to say 2 weeks after i started i quit i couldnt take it anymore...i woke up at 8 every morning left at 9 got there at 10 and didnt get home until 1030 every night...they day went something like this

    10am-12pm... pitching circles..lots of notes...goals for the day..things you need to work on...lots of "positive" meetings where everyone gets in a circle and listens to the boss talk about what i like to call brainwashing sessions and its amazing to look around the room and see the glow on some of the peoples faces like omg that sounds sooo amazing i cant wait! and im thinking sure it does but how realistic are these things man get a frigen clue

    12pm-8pm drive out to wherever you have to go for your territory (mind you there are no company cars, they dont have compensation for any of the tolls, its up to us to drive usually 30mins to wherever we had to go) lots of door to door soliciting...when i went out with my "leader" he would usually go to the door that said soliciting but when i went out on my own i chose not to because obviously these people dont want to be bothered.

    after 8 u drive back to the office where if u get a certain number of leads u get to ring a bell or hit a for me i thought it was the dumbest thing ive ever been a part of in my entire life and ive played sports my whole life and athletes can be pretty weird about rituals and things of that nature.. now if there is 4 people in the office and 2 get there leads they hit the bell...if 2mins later 4 more people walk in and they have to hit the bell, even though i had already hit the bell i had to do it all over again because the people that just walked in didnt see it..i think one night i had to hit it around 6 times because ppl kept coming in (btw when u hit the bell afterwards u have to run in a circle giving everyone a high 5..stupid again) then after all that is over the newer guys have to go over goals you achieved that day and what yo need to work on...

    basically alot of the guys that work there are good dudes its just most are brainwashed and i feel are totally fake, i on the otherhand couldnt take being fake everyday and pretending i enjoyed going door to door spending 12hr days talking to people with the potential of getting no money! they will tell you to look at the big picture ( meaning upper managment) and that what we do now is pretty much a sacrafice to the good life in the future..

    I do not recommend this to someone who has a family and is a little older, you will never ever see your family because your never ever home, if your single and dont care about not seeing friends or family have at it but unless you like getting rejected 50-100 times a day then its for you!

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  • Th
    Thattar Aug 26, 2009

    OMG!! I am supposed to interview with these ### tomorrow!! I even asked the girl that works there her name is Lauren she was the one who called me and told me her manager wants to meet with me for an interview... So anyways half way into the conversation I told her that I felt like this was one of those scams, and she laughed it off, and told me I don't even have to work in sales that there is an event coordinator position that opened up.. What a SCAM!! I am so glad I decided to do more research and found this site!! I feel like going just to cuss little miss jennifer out, and then go shopping at Yorktown mall!!

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  • Ls
    ls90265 Aug 26, 2009

    We are looking to put together a Class Action Lawsuit against this Sports Marketing International. Please contact [email protected] Please contact us only if you have worked for Sports Marketing International or if you purchased something from The Smart Circle that you cannot use.

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  • An
    anonanon Aug 24, 2009

    Glad I found this website...I have an interview tomorrow with Ashley and had the feeling that this oppurtunity was a going to be a giant scam. This saved me a chunk of my day.

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  • El
    eli_jr Aug 24, 2009

    im glad i found this web site and did my research... heres a copy of the E-Mail they send me

    2801 South Fairfield Ave, Suite A
    Lombard, Illinois 60148


    Thank you for applying for a job with EVOLUTION. We are excited to inform you that management would like to meet with you for an interview! They reviewed your resume and feel you are qualified for one of our open positions. They also compared your resume to others received and feel that you have the right skill set and experience they are looking for in an employee.

    This is our busy season and unfortunately interview times are limited. Please call our HR Department at 630.963.2570 to secure a time for an interview.


    Ashley White
    Human Resources Manager
    Check out our WEBSITE

    so i will not be going or calling no one for non this...THNX ALOT

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  • Ii
    ii2ose Aug 12, 2009

    I received the exact same letter as the earlier poster 'pasted' in response to my resume submission on Company name was Sports Marketing, Inc., and website is
    THANK YOU for these posts. I saved myself probably an hour or two drive to the Sherman Oaks office. I really despise these businesses and have been tricked into one before, lasting 3 days before calling it quits.

    May they all burn down.

    My response to their email:

    Thank you for your interest. Upon research, I've learned that your company actually engages in door-to-door selling, which unfortunately is not the type of "marketing" that I am interested in.

    Thank you

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  • Sg
    sgttrucks Jul 20, 2009

    i have formerly worked for SMI as an account director and i will tell you this every thing they do is illegal. please don't put your self in a position and work for them and end up going to jail. just like every one else said you will end up paying them to work there. yes it is strictly comissioned based, and yes there will be many days that you will work from 7am to 7pm and not make a single dime. oh and just to let you know the guy who owns the office is matt kelly. this guy is a [censored] bag. he has no solictors permits and its illegal to solicit any thing in this country with out a permit. and no they will not provide one to you, . they tell you they have them but if you look at the wall they have none in plain sight. and they wont givr you any to carry with you cause they dont have them as required by law. they promise you the world. a 2 year training program that has been condensed down to 6 months. more like a year. they do not pay you for your gas and you will use about 4 tanks of gas a week and make an average of 50 bucks a day. that wont pay your rent and it will barley pay for your gas. your required to drive your own car. there are quotas you have to meet every week. they say there isint but there is. if you want to take the chance like some hve and succeded at the company then go ahead. but ask your self if you want to rip people off for a liveing ? they go through about 100 poeple a week that they hire and either fire or the person quit. now as an indpendent contractor they cant tell you what to do or how to do it. you work for your self not them. but they try to make it seem a different way. but if you have a rocking body and a nice rack then you will have great success. other wise dont bother is just a bunch of bull ###. not to mention once you become a manager wich they say there hireing for you have to actually pay every " retarain" 50 dollars out of your own pocket every day after you get promoted. so once agin you go back to being broke.

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  • T3
    T33 Jul 13, 2009

    Seven months straight of job searching. Countless resumes accompanied by cover letters. Occasionally - a phone interview. Credit card charges piling up and no real relief in sight.
    Sure, I saw the ad for SMI and thought, I've seen others like this, I've even dragged my ### to other such interviews and met sure disappointment, but I pointed and clicked anyway and so the application was submitted. Within three hours the call came in from a lady who sounded nice enough and impressed with my credentials. Seven months of silence and all of a sudden, this gal thinks I'm the cat's meow. Yeah, I'll admit -- my ego did a little tap dance with that. What about this entry-level business I asked. Not to worry she responded. We're looking at manager-level candidates too. So we booked the appointment. Reality started setting in about an hour later. I was skeptical when I sent the application and then the nice lady on the phone -- seems a bit too well-aligned and ideal. But then again - maybe it's the solution to this holding pattern my career is in. But I'm 39. I should know better.

    I make the drive - a long drive. The office could not have been any more non-descript from the outside. I've walked past places like this looking to take a piss. Could it have been any more hum-drum? any more insignificant looking? It's the type of real estate that appears on Dateline specials about identity theft or some ### operation that rips off 80-year-old nuns. So plain. This place makes vanilla look like rocky road. Bernie Madoff could learn a thing or two from these guys at SMI.

    I walk in to the place. Two attractive girls baring cleavage hand me a clipboard with a questionnaire attached. And to my back -- a 32-inch LCD screen playing the collectors edition DVD of Rocky III. Other dudes just like me sitting there hoping it all ends very soon. We all carry that same sorry son-of-a-### expression. What were we thinking? Applause from the windowed-in office nearby. A sales meeting peppered with a motivational message or two, maybe acknowledgement of several slick rollers who exceeded their quota. I look down at the questionnaire. Fill in my name, highest degree attained and then the very first question - Have I ever been convicted of a crime? The first ###ing question. I guess these humanitarians don't feel like bringing sand to the beach. Then, the most telling sight. Thirty or more guys file out of this office like clowns from a VW beatle. Suits, smiles, hair gel. This army of ants just keeps on coming. And every last one of them fist bumps the big-breasted receptionist, who is all too enticed by the attention. That poor girl. Is that the highlight of her day? Does she consider it the highlight of her day? I feel like eating my necktie in frustration. This procession of posers was ruining the ending of Rocky III. Seriously though - I think it was the fist bumps that sent me over the edge. I sat through the interview with Greg or Jeff or whatever his name was. He strikes an uncanny resemblance to Donald Trump's son. I had done no research on SMI until I got home from the interview. It's a waste of gas but not a waste of time. It made me think about the few organizations of several I've worked for that were just damn good places to hang my hat and roll up my sleeves. So I walked away with that little lesson.

    Look, I don't know about scamming or scheming. But those reviews don't necessarily surprise me. SMI has "Stay Away" written all over it for the self-respecting job seeker. Trust that gut check. It can get you out of a jam or two. But if anyone out there is making an honest buck there, I applaud you. I hope the long arm of the law doesn't actually come down on any of you who just want to build experience, pay the rent or nail the receptionist.

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  • Lk
    LKC Jun 04, 2009

    I just went on an interview today in the SMI Sherman Oaks office. I wish I found this earlier. It literally lastes 5 min and was not a real interview at all And when the lady said what the hours would be I knew this was a scam. They said they are calling me tonight to set up for me to go there for the day to see what they do...but I had already decided before even reading this I was going to tell them I am not interested. Now I know my decision was the right one. The office is small and not in good condition and they were watching cable tv and chatting on the phone when I showed up! I can't believe I almost fell for this scheme!

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  • Ak
    AKA May 28, 2009

    I use to work at the Sherman oaks branch, they make you pay $50 to the new salesperson instead of the company paying for it.

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  • De
    derrick May 27, 2009

    SMI has a new name...I was Job hunting on Craig's List this morning and found "EVOLUTION MARKETING." Same office address, different company name . STAY AWAY FROM EVOLUTION MARKETING AND SMI.


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  • La
    Lar2345 May 19, 2009

    I worked for this company for 3 days and I have to say it might just have been the worst 3 days of my life. They lie non stop. The ad is a lie and the job is a lie. I believe the end concept is legit and if you put in all of the work you will definitely end up having your own office, but at what price? These people are worse than used car salesman. Who wants to go door to door for 12 hours a day for 8-9 months in the rain, sleet, snow, sub zero temperatures...not to mention in some of the ### and shady areas of the city you will find...and not even be guaranteed any money. Like the above poster said...the economy might be horrible, but I will never subject myself to something like this again. There is no such thing as having integrity when you are performing this job. They use brainwashing tactics on all of their employees. Trust me...EVERYONE is brainwashed...I am by no means old (27) and wise, but every employee is a recent college grad around 21 & 22 years of age, and they don't know any better because they've never had a "real" career job. That is why this company preys on them. From the first minute I stepped in there something just didn't feel right, and thankfully I got out quick. Just to let you know the horror you're in for I'll even break a typical day down for you:

    9:30 am - report to the office to "practice pitch" with all of the other used car salesmen. This entails the managers putting on hip urban music while everyone partners up and practices a specific pitch to try to trick people into signing up for home improvement estimates and cleaning services. "The first line of the pitch is "Hey sir...(with a big fake used car salesmen smile)...don't worry I'm not selling anything ..(this is said to put them at ease, but if they don't sign up no one gets you are indeed very much selling something.) It's all dirty tricks.

    10:30am - Get into a broken down looking car with your manager, and 2 other "used car salesmen".

    11:30am - Get out of your car in a horrible, run down, dangerous neighborhood and go door to door trying to get people to sign up for cleaning services and home improvement estimates. You know...utilizing your ### pitch.

    2:30pm - Lunch

    3:15pm - back going door to door

    8:00pm - Finish up in the field after going door to door for the last few hours in the ### black of night (very shady)

    9:00pm - Arrive back at the office to recap your day with all of the other losers, and brag about how well you did, and try to hide in a corner if you didn't do well.

    9:15pm - Very bizarre ritual where everyone stands around a table with a schoolbell, a gong, and a really tiny bell. One of the brainwashed [censored]bag proceeds to yell "Hey guys"...where everyone then responds "Hey what"...then the [censored]bag says it again.. "Hey guys"..and you have to repeat this ### yet again.."Hey what"...Then goes up and either rings the little bell = 3 sales made...the big bell = 5 sales made..or the gong = 6 sales made.

    10:30 - finally arrive home

    So if this sounds like the type of day you want to have for 8-9 months or my guest..don't say you weren't warned. i have a college degree, and even though the economy is bad I'll find something 1000 times better than this eventually.

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  • On
    ontheroadagain May 17, 2009

    I found it interesting that you came up with a different name of the prior company that what I know it was... this company is under an umbrella of DS-MAX... a company started out of Canada in the 1980s... and it is currently owned by Matt Kelly, but his staff has changed, like Fatta or Curly are not there anymore to my knowledge.

    Anyway... in my spare time I do research on this and other companies that are spin offs of this company.. they tell you are an independent contractor--WRONG.. you are an employee... how do I know this.. I practiced law until a few years ago.

    I have now met someone who was not aware of companies like this that are ruining his business, and this man as clout... so I want you to know this... I am not a sucker. I saw through matt Kelly from my kitchen door without ever meeting the man on day two.

    This company was formerly called The Landers Group, and before that Kelly Advertizing.. and the names go one. Perhaps this boomerage name was something matt made up... He manage to have to whole office quit on him last may I think it was.. and you can go to a website called one day, one job... it was started by one of those employees, and others have joined. I love to read the comments.

    If you REALLY want to know the story.. research DS-MAX, the aftermath... and other DS-Max blogs... you will get the full story.. in the meantime, I will continue to find a way to level this organization down. It is now world wide... and it goes on 24 hours a day.

    My recommendation to anyone who wants to work for this company is this: QUIT NOW.. you are not weak.. just smart.

    1 Votes
  • Pr
    protecter Apr 15, 2009

    I recieved an E mail stating SMI was very impressed with my Resume. I am a college grad that graduated at the top 10% of my class. I received my degree in Marketing/Public Relations.. It was refreshing to hear back from a company finally during my job hunt. I had a lady named Jessica call me back and say again they were very impressed with me. I went to the first interview. Before I entered I hear music... when I entered I felt as though I was in a club downtown. One of the rooms people were comming in and out of had house music playing. There were guys with pho-hawk hair dues everywhere. The main room had loud "soft rock" music and a movie was playing on the TV. I donno something didn't feel right. Upon my interview I got that diagram thing too explaining how the corprate later looked. Then Greg said "I am interview about 25 people today and I'm only picking 5. You may or may not hear back from us at 5pm. At 6 pm I recieved a voicemail stating I should come in for a second interview. Jessica the recpetionist said make sure you wear flats and dress accourding to the weather. She said it would be a long day from 9am-6pm. This seemed kinda weird to me. I called back and tried to ask questions about if benifts are included and how much was the pay hourly. The receiptionist claimed she didnt know. I ask to speak with with someone who can discuss before my interview and she would let me. She said everything will be explained when you come in for the second interview. Personally, before I spend a full 9am-6pm not getting paid on a second interview I want some questions answerd. Today was suppost to be my second interview. Due to the lack of informaiton provided to me I decided to do some research. I am so thankful I found this blog for SMI. I had a gut feeling something was right and thanks to your comments I'm not wasting anymore time.

    0 Votes
  • Sm
    SMI is effin G4Y Apr 03, 2009

    SO yea this SMI is a complete scam. There is not one aspect of this company that has to do with marketing. All it is, is a bunch of young kids who are tricked into thinking that the office that they are sitting in will be there's in 6 months, and they are literally walking around town trying to open any door they can get their hands on.

    I went in for my "second interview" today and it was pathetic. Walking around warehouses and buildings with locked doors and "NO TRESPASSING" signs where we are obviously not suppose to be in, and asking random people to buy this piece of paper from us is rediculous. It was disgusting and it makes me sick to think that people actually try to make a living off this.

    Now let me tell you what first tipped me off when i went in today. So they tell me that im suppose to get rich and be a manger in 6 months right? Well we go to get in the "managers" car(kelley) and it's a 1994 cadillac in terrible condition. Now, don't get me wrong but, if your a manager and your suppose to be "rich in 6 months" wouldn't u have upgraded by now since u told me you were doing it for 2 years.

    I have been a new and used car sales manager for about 6 years before this industry took a hit and to be honest, the kids that they have out doin this door-to-door sales are terrible salesman. They tell people we're giving you free tickets but they cost 40 dollars. STFU are u kidding me. There lucky cuz if that was me and someone was tryin to seel me that b.s. id have robbed then for everything they have...Thats what im going to do. Im going to start a company that just robs all these SMI type companies and then just call myself an entrepeneur.

    0 Votes
  • Jm
    J Millz Apr 02, 2009

    I found Sports Marketing International on and went ahead and sent them my cover letter along with resume. After about 10 minutes later I checked my email looking to see if anyone had responded due to the fact that I was applying to numerous jobs and I had received a response from SMI (Sports Marketing International). The response went like this:

    "Thank you for your interest in a position with Sports Marketing, Inc.., Not revealing the name and I am the Human Resource Manager. I’ve received your resume, reviewed your qualifications, past experiences and skills, as well as compared your resume to others received. After evaluating these things against our criteria, I would like to invite you to come in for a personal interview with one of our managers.

    Congratulations on being selected, as there were many resumes that were submitted and reviewed. With new locations, new clients, and current campaigns that include some of the area’s professional and amateur sports teams, as well as a few of the region’s premier restaurants, golf courses and entertainment venues on the horizon, it is important that we set up a preliminary interview as soon as possible. "

    I logged on their website only to see an old photo of Kobe Bryant in his #8 jersey. Kobe wore that # three years ago. That hinted me to look up these frauds and see exactly what I would be doing since they really don't tell you upfront of what you would be doing. This job is a fiasco, this job is for losers who only want to make their failure in life complete. I am not graduating from a college tomorrow that I busted my ### for four years to come out and get a job like this. It's a horrendous and horrible job market for even us college grads but no one needs a job bad enough to the point that we're running around door-to-door selling coupon booklets at all hours of the day and night. Going to people's homes and businesses that have a sign posted in plain site saying no soliciting.

    One more thing. Whomever is on here defending these foul people that run that racket disguised as a legitimate business, quit it! You've been exposed! Don't come at us with statistics about who makes the most money in the country and how they make it. It's only a smoke screen that I now see clearly through.

    1 Votes
  • Ei
    eiu_collegegirl Mar 21, 2009

    THANK YOU SOOO MUCH for the warning!! They called me & said that they found my resume from my universities recruitment system & that they were "very impressed with my resume." I told them I would call them back when I was closer to graduating (they were confused all though it says on my resume Graduation: May 2009... duh!). I will not waste my time now. Companies like this are horrible!! It make people like me feel worthless for having worked so hard to earn my degree. Thank you again for the heads up! I truly appreciate it when companies are exposed for what they really are. We need more people like you to help us with this!

    0 Votes
  • Si
    Sick&Tired Mar 18, 2009

    Another company that has currently popped up on job sites is FAST TRACK, which is exactly like SMI, except they sell home remodeling products. I saw the posting on, and they said they did "Promotional Marketing" (I love how these pathetic companies use various marketing and sales terms to validate their actual strategy. You're a door-to-door sales company, and future prospects are eventually going to find out what you do, so just tell them). They also falsely led me to believe they pay an annual base salary. So I thought I would send in my resume to see what happens.

    On their job postings, they specifically stated they would not open attachments in emails, so they wanted applicants to copy and paste their resume into the body of the email, which is fine. However, while I was preparing my resume, I absent-mindedly attached it to the email, and sent the email at 7:34 PM. I immediately realized what I did, and figured I would not hear from them.
    Lo and behold, I receive an email from FAST TRACK at 2:50 THE VERY NEXT MORNING, saying that "management" has looked over my credentials and would like me to schedule an interview. I found this very suspicious, so I talked it over with my family to see what to do. They said to at least look into it because they didn't want me to miss an opportunity. So I decided to schedule an interview and head to FAST TRACK's headquarters which are located at 2801 S. Fairfield Ave. Suite A in Lombard, IL (which just happens to be the same address as SMI's headquarters, which I was not aware of at the time).
    During the interview, the interviewer (who I will leave nameless) asked me a few simple questions about my resume and then informed me he had about fifteen more interviews in the day, and that was basically the whole first interview. Upon leaving the office, I wondered how he would separate me from the "other interviews" considering he didn't ask more in-depth questions.
    I received a voicemail around 2:50 in the afternoon the same day from the interviewer saying he wanted to discuss some things on my resume, and finished the message by fumbling around to give me the number to his office, which ended up with him giving the wrong number. Unfortunately, I had the correct number saved on my cell phone and called back, and they invited me back for the second round interview to shadow one of their "managers" for the day to see their "day to day operations". So I figured I would get to see what they actually do and make a decision for myself.
    The morning of my second interview, I received a confirmation call from the secretary of FAST TRACK to make sure I was coming for the interview, except when she addressed what company she was calling for, she accidentally said SMI, and quickly corrected herself and said FAST TRACK. I immediately felt a bad feeling about this company, but I decided to go through with it, hoping that it would be something other than door to door sales.
    I arrived at the office, met the manager I would be shadowing, and from 12PM to 8PM we walked around a neighborhood doing door to door sales. Not only did I find it absolutely frustrating and unprofessional going up to people after 5PM, after they have been busting their behind at work all day, but then we even went up to people's doors around 7:30PM, when it was completely dark out. That's just shady.
    We returned to the office around 9PM, and after the interviewer talked with the manager I shadowed, he said the manager had nothing but "great things" to say about me, even though the whole day I acted completely uninterested and hardly asked any questions. Then he offered me the job on the spot and asked when the earliest I could start was. I said I wanted a couple days to think it over and talk with my family about it, and got out of that office as fast as possible.
    So to those who work for SMI and FAST TRACK, which apparently those names are interchangeable, here is a message from me to you: your company is pathetic, unprofessional, and desperate, and if you think your company is stable and a good work environment, you might want to re-evaluate your life. What I witnessed from that company was the saddest thing I've ever seen, and to be around other people my age with college degrees acting like what they were doing was completely normal made me feel like I was in the Twilight Zone. Why are your companies so desperate to hire anybody, seriously? No seriously, I really want to know. And why do you try to hide the fact in your job postings and your interviews that you're a door to door sales company. Just say it, because the people you employ are eventually going to find out, and you will save plenty of people's time and money. Wasting my time with your company was one of the most disappointing experiences I've ever come across, and am personally embarrassed that I was douped into walking around doing nonsense for eight hours even after they constantly slipped up by giving me wrong numbers and messing up their own company's name. One word to describe this: JOKE.
    This is a detailed account of what I had to experience, and I hope people understand what they're getting into when they apply to these companies. If you still don't, I'll make it easy for you: If you're looking to work 10 hours a day, possibly weekends, work strictly on commission and not be guaranteed any money, and perform DOOR TO DOOR SALES, then SMI and FAST TRACK are for you.

    2 Votes
  • Fo
    Former Employee Mar 17, 2009

    It's been almost a month but the people backing these companies won't post after my rebuttals. Shows just how strongly they feel about their company and dreams! They really don't have a base to stand on other than the brainwashing they recieve from the managers.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Matt Kelley is my master Mar 10, 2009

    My interview experience at SMI in Sherman Oaks was similar to the responses already given. SMI seemed like a cult. First thing in the morning they gather you up to practice pitches and the managers give their motivational sales ###. But the managers also said a "keyword" like GOALS and the room of compliant sheep would chant it back simultaneously as though under a spell. They totally prey on naive and impressionable young people who are lead to believe there is actually a future in slanging coupon booklets in the street for straight commission and no salary. They claimed they had big time clients and that you would work your way up to opening your own office and doing business with major sports teams. I began to seriously doubt that when the employee room had a bootleg 2005 Florida Marlins poster up and not one of the major locals teams they claimed to represent. They train you to do COLD CALLS BUT IN PERSON. The poor brain washed girl who took me out to the "Field" A.K.A "street" seemed to be boarder line trespassing by entering unmarked buildings and checking every door handle as well as entering buildings and businesses that clearly had "NO SOLICITING" signs. Im glad my intuition told me to leave 15 minutes into my first day. They basically pimp weak minded youths into doing their bidding.

    2 Votes
  • Fo
    Former Employee Feb 27, 2009

    No, I haven't made this my life but I am a strong advocate of consumer and employee rights. I have first hand experience with this company's affiliate and have seen the thousands of complaints from people who were hurt financially, pulled away from their families and friends, and misled by using unethical and illegal tactics.

    The facts are there if you care to look at them. While some of these managers may be honest and mean good to their companies, most of what they do violate labor laws and state ordinances. I would doubt if anyone working in these companies has more than a few credits of marketing or business managment under their belt.

    These companies have NO clients, I repeat NONE! Smart Circle aquires the clients for them. Another suprising fact; These "Marketing" companies don't do a lick of marketing! They do sales! Marketing has to be understood as a business discipline separate and distinct from sales. Complimentary, yes. Subordinate to sales, most of the time. But separate and distinct nonetheless. Stapling a business card to a piece of paper and handing them back to Smart Circle or the clients has nothing to do with marketing since you are trying to build an impulse sale and rarely have repeat impulse buyers.

    The people that drink the Kool-Aid at these places believe this; I will do outside door to door sales in harsh weather conditions selling coupons to businesses and homes and if I work really hard putting in 72 hours or more a week making on average less than $9 an hour with little to no benefits then I could have this pie in the sky dream of operating one of these companies and try to encourage other people to do the same so I can make an inflated income like my manager says he does!

    They are toyed with psychologically with all these dreams of one day making 6 figures and owning a dream car and home. What they are not told is the stories of countless managers who have failed at these businesses because they have little to no experience with business managment, and especially one that operates at a 1500% turnover ratio. And the stories of reps being cited because of violating city ordinances and having their busineses shut down because of horrible practices.

    1 Votes
  • Wo
    Wow Feb 22, 2009

    That is really interesting that you have made this your life...your business must be going really really well.

    -1 Votes
  • Fo
    Former Employee Feb 21, 2009

    K Weins,

    Im glad you are able to respond to my questions, and it shows that you believe in what you do. I have in fact met Doug Ascher and he was a pretty nice guy. I did not get the chance to know him on a personal level, but if he is more ethical than his counterparts congrats to him, however...

    *Who promoted Greg Mertes in the first place? Since Doug was able to work with Greg Mertes first hand for almost a year wouldnt he be able to spot his tactics, if not, than wouldnt that look like a cloud of judgement? How do you know he or someone else won't do it again? One good person doesn't save a business from all the bad ones. Unfortunately Greg promoted Adrian Frey in Milwaukee (Brookfield), Kelly Latting in Minneapolis and Leeroy Shanks and a few others.

    *Have you taken a look at your supplier on BBB? Smart Circle has a current rating of a C-. Obviously more than a few people didn't care for the misleading tactics the salespeople used.

    *By the way I asked if YOU carried a solicitation license or permit on you? You havent looked into law too much because the Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc’y of N.Y., Inc. v. Vill. of Stratton case is the village of Stratton, Ohio and not (as you presume) the whole country. But Ive heard it thrown around a few times from you guys trying to defend your company. Here is a piece of the transcript from the case:

    -Held: The ordinance’s provisions making it a misdemeanor to engage in door-to-door advocacy without first registering with the mayor and receiving a permit violate the First Amendment as it applies to religious proselytizing, anonymous political speech, and the distribution of handbills. Pp. 9—18.

    The case had NOTHING to do with door to door sales, but with religous and political material ONLY

    *Finally, most cities do have a Green River Ordinance in place. Im assuming you didnt call any bureau's or police departments around Chicago?? I can name off hand at least a dozen that require a permit to sell door to door...and it needs to be an individual permit if you are selling outside the business premises!

    *If you say none of your business reps ever went into a no solicitation building even once I would say you're a downright liar, because there are numerous accounts of this happening with Smart Circle reps across the Country.

    *I think you took my college education question a little vague. Im glad you have all walks of life come into SMI because its great for business to diversify, but how many have marketing degrees?? The reason I ask is that if I advertise that Im a Graphic Design firm, I will not hire someone who has a degree in sociology to do my designing. So...if you advertise that you're a marketing company, why would you hire people without a marketing degree...or even a background check??

    If your reps did know a thing or two about marketing you'd know about over-saturation, which is exactly what Smart Circle does!

    *IBM's turnover rate is at 8%, and AT&T and GM are around 15%. Please look it up before you post if you don't know how to calculate turnover ratios. Yes 1500% is insane. That means if you wanted 20 new people to stay in your office for a year, you'd have to hire around 320. IBM only has to hire 22 people to guarentee that 20 will stay for a year.

    *How many people that start at General Motors become the CEO? Probably just a couple. But those people aren't hired to be trained as CEO's either. How many people start SMI and are told that they are training for a management position? Everyone if I'm correct!

    And finally one more thing to think about...Im not sure how much money you make in a week and I won't ask, but the TOP few percent are only averaging $14/hr if you divide up their commision. Most everyone is making $9 or less, so good luck!

    1 Votes
  • Kw
    kweins Feb 20, 2009

    I will attempt to answer for you:

    1. Doug is running an office there, because the company before that was there, Boomerang Marketing Group, got shut down because the owner was unethical. Sports Marketing Int'l is NOT Boomerang. They had the same supplier, that's it. Doug actually had the Boomerang office shut down because they WERE doing shady type stuff like not explaining the job correctly to interviewees and teaching things that borderline on deceptive and shady. Have you met Doug? He's the most honest guy you'll meet. When I interviewed back in the day, he told me straight up that I'd be doing B2B sales.

    2. The guy before was named Greg Mertes and that's who Doug shut down. As you can see by this thread, Greg pissed alot of people off.

    3. Question3 was answered above

    4. No. Because of the following findings by the Supreme Court of the U.S. : However, in Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc’y of N.Y., Inc. v. Vill. of Stratton, 536 U.S. 150 (2002), the U. S. Supreme Court struck down as a violation of free speech rights, an ordinance requiring permits and pre-registration for all kinds of canvassing and solicitation.

    side note: The business DOES have a business license, a Tax ID number, and a sellers permit. Which are the required forms.

    5. No. All businesses that ask field reps to leave are left with a, "No problem sir/ma'am, if you get a chance please visit us at ____". I do know that this wasn't always the case. Back in the day, there was no regard for the businesses wishes. Now, with such a High end client list, No soliciation laws are followed.

    6. When I was getting promoted, I had 14 people that I oversaw. 2 were previous business owners. 2 were former loan officers. 1 was a former all Big Ten track star. and I'd say total, 70% had college degrees. Just so you know though, go to Forbes Top 10 richest Americans list. 8 do NOT have a college degree. Entreprenership is the fastest growing major across the country in US schools as well.

    What's the turnover rate at IBM or GM or AT&T? It's probably 5000% if that's how you want to rate turnover. Of course not everyone that starts will get to run one of the new offices. How many people that start at General Motors become the CEO?

    Nobody guaranteed me I'd make it to managment. In fact, I heard Doug say "A lot of people won't make it because it is really hard" a lot more than I heard, "Everyone will make it". In fact I never heard that once out of Doug's mouth.

    I hope that answers your questions. Congrats on running your own business as well. I am sure at least a little of what you learned in this company prepared you for running your own. Good luck to you and your business and you may hate the office that you were in, but if you had worked with Doug, I think you'd have a totally different taste in your mouth about the direct sales and marketing industry.

    -2 Votes
  • Fo
    Former Employee Feb 14, 2009

    K Weins,

    We are not speaking against entrepreneurship, in fact you are correct that you will not get rich working a 9-5 job. I am a business owner of my own and am happy with the benefits and challenges. However...

    We are saying that these businesses and its affiliates are in fact illegal. Have you looked at any of the links posted here? They are illegal according to the BBB and the US dept of Labor, those are pretty reasonable sources for businesses. I want you to answer a few questions for me;

    - Do you know why Doug Asher and SMI are at 2801 Farifield avenue in Lombard, IL?
    - Do you know who ran the business before he came in?
    - And do you know why that previous person had to shut down?
    - Do you carry a solicitation license with you when you go door to door?
    - Are you told you can go into non-solicitation buildings?
    - How many people at SMI have marketing degrees, or a college education for that matter?

    You are brainwashed to believe a lot of false information! I know, because I was there once. If you finally believe that in a year you will own on of these offices and make a load of money, think about this...These businesses currently operate at an average turnover rate of 1500%!!! Think about that...1500% The highest sector in the job market is the food and hospitality section at 54%!! So good luck trying to keep people there for longer than a couple months.

    Everyone here including myself encourage you guys to stop this unethical and Illegal business! Invest in a business that will hold true to its customers and bring real wealth!

    2 Votes
  • Kw
    k weins Feb 13, 2009

    t meyers,

    I am not going to get into it with you as you have your beliefs and I have mine. But if you think for one second that "legitimate companies" "invest in their employees" then you haven't been paying attnetion to the economic news lately.

    You can go work a job where they control every decision and every facet of how much you are worth or not worth to them and I'll take my chances with a company where I can grow based on my performance.

    I have a great life, love my job, and money in the bank. That's more than I can say about 80% of the American workforce that took the "traditional" path of go to school, get a job with a big name company, and work my way to the top. That doesn't exist anymore. I could drop about 50 articles written in Newsweek, Time, Forbes, etc. that would tell you the same, but your mind is already made up on what you believe and that is fine. Just remember that 93% of the population works for 7%, and those 7% control the top 70% of wealth. They didn't get wealthy by working 9-5pm for a company where they get 2 weeks paid vacation, 3 weeks sick leave and candy on Fridays. They went out and built something from nothing. Lee Iacoca slept in his car to build Chrysler. Bill Gates took off 6 days TOTAL in 10 years. But good luck to you, I truly mean that. Outside sales is not for everyone. Neither is managing an office and running a company. But for those that do enjoy it, they can become very successful and very fortunate working with SMI. Doug's promoted a lot of people into their own offices and that's got to count for something. later

    -1 Votes
  • Sc
    Scam Revealer Feb 08, 2009

    Additionally: Legal issues.

    If you are interviewing here or working here, be sure to challenge them regarding your status as an "independent contractor." Here are the qualifications regarding independent contractor vs. employee:

    SMI, Inc. will wrongly (illegally) classify you as an independent contractor for their benefit and your disadvantage.

    1 Votes

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