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View Full Version : Deceptive Advertising at the Transworld Show in Las Vegas - were you a victim?



WarrenC
04-04-2008, 11:04 AM
If you attended the Transworld show in Las Vegas this year, you may have seen Effectech’s booth advertising the sale of web banners on what appeared to be www.hauntedhouses.com. It appeared as though the booth had signs saying “Number 1 search result in google” and “are you listed?” It looked to me, through their advertising flyers and booth décor, they were selling banners on www.hauntedhouses.com. Without paying attention, it would appear that the banners would be posted on www.hauntedhouses.com, but if you pay close attention, the site redirected you to a site at www.tophaunt.com which may not be indexed as www.hauntedhouses.com. I think many people may have purchased this advertising with the idea their banner would be on www.hauntedhouses.com. Perhaps Effectech has purchased or negotiated an agreement with www.hauntedhouses.com to add a link and navigation map which then redirects the viewer to www.tophaunt.com or maybe something is in the works. I think, as it appears now, the advertising banner placement you receive is on www.tophaunt.com. I don’t know how many people would jump at the chance to advertise on www.tophaunt.com as it doesn not seem to be indexed and google possibly won’t find the site www.tophaunt.com. In my opinion, this is a bit deceptive, vauge and a disservice to the industry. If you have purchased one of these advertising packages thinking you were receiving a web banner on www.hauntedhouses.com, you may want to revisit your sales agreement and weigh your decision. If you aren’t sure how this would affect your current web promotion, run it past your web designer and get their input or post your questions here. If you visit the website www.tophaunt.com (where your banner will be placed), it appears they have a header graphic that looks as though you are at www.hauntedhouses.com. Look in the address bar… it may read http://www.tophaunt.com. How can this be a benefit to your business or our industry? Time will tell where the banners finally end up.

Warren

Barry
04-04-2008, 11:14 AM
Maybe the site is in transition. While the link at the top of the page redirects you as you have stated, the link at the bottom takes you to http://www.hauntedhouses.com/haunted_attractions.cfm which says "Attractions Coming Soon"

imax
04-04-2008, 02:00 PM
CFM? Who in their right mind still uses cold fusion? ha! Make sure your listing portals use a good modern language.

Haunted Illinois
04-04-2008, 09:10 PM
It’s obvious that this haunt directory site is set up for the sole purpose of turning a buck. How sad. It is definitely set up to optimize advertising space, while providing minimal content. For the Haunt listings, each state is split up into several regions, with several featured banners available for purchase in each region. And all of the listings in each state appear on one page, with a fairly large font and wide spacing between each listing, so that you are endlessly scrolling to make your way through them all. On top of that, the only information provided for each haunt listing is the event name, street address and web URL. Since they’re merely linking to Haunts’ websites, are they really providing that much unique content?

As far as I’m concerned, this is someone’s feeble attempt to cash in on Halloween. On the Illinois page alone, there are 82 featured banners that are up for sale!!! At what point does a “Featured Banner” begin to lose its appeal and/or effectiveness? If you purchase a banner for $495 near the bottom of a page that you are sharing with 81 other banners, how special or unique is it really? How much is it really worth? Taking it a step further, what is the likelihood that anyone will even click on your banner if you are sharing the page with so many other advertisers? With each directory page being so cluttered with advertisements on one long scrolling page, would visitors even stay on the page long enough to even let all of the banners load?

Just my two cents...

MDKing
04-05-2008, 06:04 AM
Not all directories are bad, but too many national ones can cloud things up a a bit. Local level directories like hauntedillinois.com, hauntedwisconsin.com and the like can be good for area haunt seekers as well. My new state directory was created to suppport the Maryland haunt community and grow out of the shadow of some major markets around us. I make nothing on the site by way of profit, but we had a great first year and we're expecting some rapid growth in the next couple years because it's locally based and promoted and the press did take notice!

If you are going to take part in someone's haunt directory, you should make sure you know the person(s) doing them are serious and commited to helping haunts grow their businesses and send them more traffic which should translate into selling more tickets.. Hauntedhouse.com and Findhauntedhouses.com are proven successful and therefore everyone should take part. If you have a good local directory in your area go with them as well, anything to help you sell tickets, grow and be competitive is good.

Allan

Finnegan
04-05-2008, 10:14 AM
It's all too common in this industry and I've witnessed it in my market for years: take someone else' original idea, slap your name on it, throw it up on your website and it's a new feature or a new haunt or a new form of STDs.

Househaunter have been talking about is bad business, poor ethics and a prime example of a lack of interest, creativity and an actual inability to provide a decent product.

It comes down in multiple categories but I would suspect that all examples fall into the same: as the economy weakens and numbers dip due to an inferior product these individuals take the path of "least resistance" and instead of taking time to reevaluate and reinvest into their business it comes to a fact of turning to alternate means and "creating" piss-poor products that will inevitably fail because, in the end, their actually no talent hacks anyway.

It continues to boggle my mind how this industry takes it in stride and how lackadaisical approach is often accepted and encouraged. These people should really do themselves a favor and get out of the business because it is an expressionist industry and a real chance to do what you love. If you just want to make a buck go find a desk, fire up a computer and start selling life insurance to teens, putz.

On a related note I would like to tell them congratulations on entering the dotcom era that the rest of the free world hit in 1998. Did you know there's something out there called satellite TV too? Just sayin'...

Jim Warfield
04-06-2008, 08:34 PM
Maybe the "Lackadasical" attitude from the haunting community might in part, at least, be because unlike other "industries", many different types of haunt entertainment can "fly" and find approval, unlike , say the automotive industry where either the car runs or it doesn't , if it doesn't run you are definately a failed mechanic.
We merely go ,"Boo!" one person says, "How lame." (we failed)
We go "Boo!" ten seconds later to another customer and they scream and run away! Of course the ages and levels of expectations vary immensely in haunt crowds.

Finnegan
04-07-2008, 07:33 AM
Jim, that's very true, in the amusement and entertainment industry personal preferences dictate if it's good or not. But you're providing an end/means argument.

Because you can "scare" a 14 year old girl and her four 13 year old friends doesn't justify you sitting on your laurels and optioning your right to become a talentless hack that should've "retired" in 1992.

Sure, it's like saying that just because enzyte didn't work for them but it worked for Peter North and me bad mouthing them for it. The fact remains that they still have a collectively small penis and no matter of bows and streamers will change that fact.

badass
04-07-2008, 08:13 AM
It's all too common in this industry and I've witnessed it in my market for years: take someone else' original idea, slap your name on it, throw it up on your website and it's a new feature or a new haunt or a new form of STDs.

Househaunter have been talking about is bad business, poor ethics and a prime example of a lack of interest, creativity and an actual inability to provide a decent product.

It comes down in multiple categories but I would suspect that all examples fall into the same: as the economy weakens and numbers dip due to an inferior product these individuals take the path of "least resistance" and instead of taking time to reevaluate and reinvest into their business it comes to a fact of turning to alternate means and "creating" piss-poor products that will inevitably fail because, in the end, their actually no talent hacks anyway.

It continues to boggle my mind how this industry takes it in stride and how lackadaisical approach is often accepted and encouraged. These people should really do themselves a favor and get out of the business because it is an expressionist industry and a real chance to do what you love. If you just want to make a buck go find a desk, fire up a computer and start selling life insurance to teens, putz.

On a related note I would like to tell them congratulations on entering the dotcom era that the rest of the free world hit in 1998. Did you know there's something out there called satellite TV too? Just sayin'...


you said it..it boggels my mind the piss poor attractions out there that get passed off as something good....as a great man in this industry once said...hmmm well..they made excellent use of black plastic....its places like hauntworld..and all the best..most creative..most original haunts...that showcase this industry and its new heights....you know who you are

Jim Warfield
04-07-2008, 08:32 AM
Finn. It also is reflective of the "You (hopefully) get what you paid for", sort of value. An ad on-line that costs almost nothing yet does something measurable would be worth the low cost, if the paying advertiser thought so and had a lot of "little money" to throw that way.
Unless the polar ice caps shift soon and throw large numbers of people toward Mount Carroll, Ill.(here) I could never justify spending what would be large amounts of money on expensive props for the number of patrons that I see every year.
This has never limited my ambition to entertain everyone to the utmost of my other talents and resources though and I'm still doing only haunting for all my yearly income in a small village of 1,700 retired farmers and youthful unemployed in the middle of pretty much "nowhere" by common definitions.

RJ Productions
04-08-2008, 03:33 AM
What I would really like to see is a Haunt directory where they REQUIRE the Haunts to access their listing by July, then DUMP all the sites not reactivated in August!!! There are sites that list haunts that haven't been in exsistence for YEARS! Even worst are the ones that won't let you correct an old listing but they get a current listing fro who knows where!! I still think theres an old AOL listing that has me on it like four times! When you are a temporary event customers get pissed when they go to your location from 4 years ago!!!

These sites keep as many listings as possible to make it look as though they are effective. I believe that is the problem Larry speaks of. A new site has no content so they copy it from other sites that may not be accurate. I just send people to the directory here. At least I know it will have accurate info!

Haunted Illinois
04-08-2008, 06:12 AM
Amen to that. That always bugs me when I see directories cluttered with bad information... multiple listings for the same event, listings for events that haven't been open for years, etc...

In the HauntedIllinois.com directory, I wipe the slate clean every single year and attractions have to submit their new information if they want to still be included in the next years' directory. That way I know the information is always up-to-date.

I know that the folks from HauntedWisconsin.com do the same thing and I believe Barry from ScaryOhio.com does that, also.

MDKing
04-08-2008, 08:26 AM
Our directory will do much the same as your list....Kepp it fresh and updated each year!

Thanks,
Allan

Jim Warfield
04-08-2008, 09:10 AM
Years ago I thought I would try to "Up-Date" but Christy Brinkley never returned my numerous calls. That's when I found out she was strictly an up-town girl.