The Landers Group

by on May 23, 2008

The Landers Group

This is essentially the same post that we posted about The Landers Group on One Day, One Job today. It’s important and applies to internships too, so make sure you read it.

One Day, One Internship is about helping college students find great internships. We’ve always taken this literally by featuring companies that look like great places to work (we can’t ever be 100% on this, but we do our best). Well, a big part of finding a great internship is avoiding the not so great (or really awful) internships that are out there, so, today, we are going to look at a company called The Landers Group, which has been identified as a scam by people online and in the media. As it gets later in the internship hunting season, many college students become desperate. It makes them easy prey for employment scams like those peddled by The Landers Group.

I’m Smart, I Don’t Fall for Scams

Yeah, that’s what suckers say. How do we know that smart people fall for these scams? We’ve seen it happen. One of my friends is a freshman at an Ivy League school. He was torn between getting a summer job or an internship, so he was looking at all kinds of options. He told me that he had landed an interview with a really cool sports marketing company. Being a reader of One Day, One Internship, he knew to contact us with questions on how to research a potential employer. He had already scheduled an interview with the company for when he returned home, but he sent us the name of the company (The Landers Group) so that we could tell him a little bit more about it. Within seconds we found a number of Google results that indicated he was in for a learning experience (but not the kind you want to get out of your internship). Our friend is a smart kid. He’s proactive and trying to get a Summer internship even though he’s only a freshman. He was about to get burned.

Why You’ll Fall For It

We’ve never had firsthand experience with The Landers Group or any other company that follows similar business practices, but we’ve found enough evidence through our research to indicate that any time spent in contact with one of these companies is wasted. You will usually find these internships listed on major job boards with titles like “Sports and Entertainment Marketing – Summer Internships.” The job description will go into great detail about all of the wonderful things that await those who apply – excellent pay, travel opportunities, learning experiences, and full-time job offers after graduation. Take a look at all of The Landers Group’s Job Postings on CareerBuilder. They’ll also brag about their amazing client list. From their website:

One by one The Landers Group has added every major sports team in Southern California to its portfolio. No other advertising and marketing firm in the area can make the same claim… Our unparalleled portfolio includes the Los Angeles Dodgers, the LA Clippers, the LA Kings, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, MLS’ Chivas USA, the UCLA Bruins, and also clients such as Crowne Plaza Resorts, Disneyland, and Sea World. Our unique grass-roots marketing approach has given our clients a valuable edge in the marketplace and it places them front and center in the public eye!

Since it seems that Sports and Entertainment Marketing are extremely popular fields with college students, these job and internship listings must get viewed thousands of times. Many of those who read the job descriptions get excited and apply. We don’t have a reference to back this up, but we’re going to guess that everyone who applies gets an interview.

The “Interview” Process

It’s relatively likely that your “interview” with The Landers Group might be your first ever job interview. Whether you realize that something’s fishy depends on how perceptive you are. We’ve heard that their secretary will not refer to the company by name, probably because they operate under multiple names and don’t want you to realize it. Your first interview will most likely be informational, where they’ll continue the pitch that they started in the job posting. Any questions about what the company actually does or what their internships are like will probably get a vague response. You’re also likely to hear, “You’ll have to see it to believe it.” Since scammers usually don’t turn away people, we’re going to guess that you’ll get asked back for a second interview too.

The second interview is where you’ll really get to see The Landers Group in action. You will be tagging along with one of the company’s employees. The story usually goes that you end up in a sketchy car with a sketchy person going to a sketchy neighborhood. Once you get there, you find out what The Landers Group does. They sell coupons door to door. Remember that amazing client list? That’s whose coupons you will be selling. You’ll be given one side of the street, and the employee will take the other. You’ll essentially spend the day working for free. How do we know? We’ve found stories from people who have done it like this and this. If you’re lucky, you’ll just end up having wasted a day. If you’re not, you may end up stranded many miles from home or having had a gun pointed at you and with mud all over your only suit.

How to Avoid Getting Burned

Now that you’ve read about The Landers Group, you will hopefully know to avoid these scams. If you’re not sure whether an employer is legitimate, use what we’ve taught you to do some employer research. Our articles How to Use Google to Find a Job and Turning the Tables: Digging Dirt on Employers are both excellent resources that will teach you what to need to know. Often, finding out the truth is as easy as doing a Google search with the company name and the word scam – here are the results for “The Landers Group scam.” Also, remember that these companies use major job boards as their main recruiting tool. Don’t think that because something is listed on Monster, Yahoo! HotJobs, or CareerBuilder it is legitimate – anyone can pay to post their jobs on these sites.

Don’t forget that The Landers Group operates under a variety of names. There are also many other companies that use similar business practices to recruit unsuspecting college students into bum internships. The stories are often different, but the end result is usually the same. Although The Landers Group is focused quite heavily on selling an actual product, some of these companies are even skeezier. Instead of selling, you’ll be doing their bidding by recruiting more suckers to work for you recruiting more suckers. In general these types of operations are known as Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) operations, and they should be avoided unless you are completely comfortable with what you’re getting into. Here’s a post from the Consumerist on other operations that are using tactics similar to those of The Landers Group.

A List of Companies Known to Have Similar Practices

  • The Landers Group
  • Kelly Advertising
  • Granton Marketing
  • DS Max
  • After Five Marketing Group
  • Dalton Management
  • Innovage

This is by no means a comprehensive list. If you know of other companies that should be added, please leave a comment with the company’s name and a reference or personal story telling us why they should be included.

Links to Help You Begin Your Research

This was obviously a different kind of post for us. What do you think? Leave a comment. We love to hear feedback.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

L. G. May 23, 2008 at 10:46 am

Although the focus of One Day, One Internship is to help students find internships, I think it is equally important to warn unsuspecting students about scams like The Landers Group. This was a very informative post- good job!

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Gabe May 23, 2008 at 1:37 pm

A company that does this in California is “The Merrimack Group,” however I’m not sure if they’re affiliated with the Landers Group or just do the same thing.

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Linda June 9, 2008 at 1:57 pm

If I already made an interview, is it alright to cancel the interview? I am looking for a Public Relations job. If anyone has any leads, please email me them.

Thank you!

Linda

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Willy Franzen June 9, 2008 at 3:44 pm

Absolutely! In fact, we’d recommend that you cancel the interview. It’s just going to be a waste of your time. If you have no interest in taking a job or internship, don’t interview. It will only waste your time and the interviewer’s time. Everyone is better off if you cancel.

If you’re looking for a PR Internship, go here http://www.onedayoneinternship.com/tag/public-relations/
If you’re looking for a full-time job, this should help http://www.onedayonejob.com/tag/public-relations/

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Karl June 14, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Door to door selling, although not for me, isn’t necessarily a breach of ethics. However the way the Landers Group misleads, passes anyone with a heartbeat to the ‘second interview’ which is from 8:30 to 6:00 pm where you are not paid sounds a lot more like ‘training’ or ‘torture’. Stay clear! Thanks for the post!

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rick August 22, 2008 at 1:11 am

hi,

I am offered an internship from internships4america, atlanta. do anybody know about them are they real or scam?

i need your suggerstions, plz help me!

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someone in LA September 16, 2008 at 8:51 pm
jawilli31 October 19, 2008 at 6:54 am

Looks like the pyramid business opportunist sharks are disguising themselves as employers preying on the recruits, as well. The only difference is the venue – a hotel ballroom or conference hall vs an office to step into. Rule of thumb: a company that does not offer on-the-job paid training or requires initial money for the materials to get started is not worth pursuing. Thank you “One Day, One Internship” for your valuable forewarning info. I almost checked Landers out, but that’s just a “buttered up” posterior.

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xanadured November 21, 2008 at 10:36 am

Beware, the Landers Group has changed their identity and is now calling themselves Sports Marketing International.

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Steve May 5, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Yes it is a scam. They now tweaked their name and are called Sports marketing inc. stay away. i went through the first day and luckily was smart enough to leave before getting carried around by a stranger on the 2nd day

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Ralph July 19, 2009 at 12:52 am

They teach you a few pointers but the pay is commission only which is no good. The company says it offers promotions quickly, but you will have to work 70 to 80 hours a week. The upside is there are good people that work for the company who are determined to advance and they will teach you some selling technoques that are useful. The downside is that the pay is lousy. I seriously have not made less then minimum wage ever in my life. 3 to 5 dollars and hour is unfair. i think the company needs to pay hourly wages and commission to gain employee retention.12 hour days come on now, this company pays its employees like their illegal aliens.Move to Mexico!! i heard they pay more than SMI lol

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Former "account director" September 29, 2010 at 6:21 am

This hasn’t been updated in a while, so I thought I’d throw in my two cents. Matt Kelley, Jo Hester, etc.. they are all manipulating pieces of $hit. Do NOT ever work for these people. They will only milk you for every cent you are worth and then “fire” you after you aren’t producing for them anymore. Matt… if you are reading this: I hope to one day shut down your entire operation.

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Nicole April 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Jo Hester, Lime Light Marketing, biggest waste of time. You all are 1000000% right!!! She is full of lies, You will do nothing but waste your time! I strongly encourage any of you to cancel your interviews ASAP!!! staff is really nice, but that woman could give Hitler a run for his money! and actually after noticing something about illegal aliens- i think she might actually employ a few! such a scam!

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Laura N. April 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Willy, I immediately thought of this post when I received an honest to goodness MAILING from an Impact Incorporated company out of DC, with offices across the country. They say they are headquartered in Dallas. They actually say on their website: “We are able to provide savings for the real world customer on things that really matter from Sporting events, to automotive care, travel, entertainment, personal care, dining and family entertainment. Everyone is looking to save money, and we have the saving, no fine print and no hassle.” I guess that’s a start, but their hard copy materials are pretty laughable.

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Natalia R. July 31, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Impact Events, Inc., in Dallas, TX (Bedford) is another scam! I found them under “Sports/Entertainment Marketing entry level jobs” at Careerbuilder.com and after reading all these articles, I realized is just another company with dishonest practices. I submitted my resume (hey, i’m a recent graduate in desperate need for a job!) and the next day received several calls and e-mails trying to set up an interview. I honestly thought they insisted because of my impressive resume (I worked really hard in college to build up a nice resume and I have a extensive experience in TV and Sports Marketing, seems like on one is hiring these days!) I set up an interview for tomorrow and while doing my research on the company so I could prepare for my meeting, I found all these articles and it fits the profile perfectly. IMPACT EVENTS, INC.., in Dallas, TX is a fraud! Don’t interview with them! Thanks for the article, it’s ridiculous how shameful these companies are, and how they play with honest people just trying to get their first big break!

IMPACT EVENTS, INC.., is a NO NO!!

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