Cutting Edge Entertainment will not pay to advertise on TheKnot.com, and I’ll gladly tell you why.
First, let me tell you about my own personal ‘first hand’ experience. Several years ago I did advertise on TheKnot.com. Their prices seemed reasonable and they weren’t terribly flooded with too many advertisers. I was required to use a photo because – for some reason – the IT people at The Knot lacked the skill (or they just weren’t willing) to insert a logo at that time. So we contacted our webmaster at the time and we used a stock photo. Over time, our rights to use this particular photo expired and I contacted my sales person at The Knot by email and asked that she take it down, explaining that our contract for that photo had expired. I was told it would be taken care of immediately and thought nothing more of it until I received a letter from Getty Images – the owner of the photo – letting me know that I owed them $1,200.00 for the unauthorized use of said photo. Well, I searched every site that we had used the photo on and found that Brides.com had removed it as requested, and so had PartySpace.com… but guess who hadn’t bothered? You got it, The Knot. I phoned my sales rep immediately and to my surprise she totally passed the buck to the layout department. In essence, she just didn’t want to deal with me. Finally, after speaking to some higher ups at The Knot they offered me six months of premium placement for my troubles, but only after I produced the emails proving that I had contacted them six months prior. My sales rep was nowhere to be found and did absolutely nothing to help me, nor did The Knot offer to reimburse me for the penalty I had to pay Getty Images (other than the six month premium placed ad). Yet the story doesn’t end there…
After my six month free premium ad ended, they started to charge my credit card and put me into ‘auto-renewal.’ Now keep in mind I already had no intention of renewing with The Knot because – quite frankly – the premium ad brought me little to no traffic and I was already frustrated with the horrible customer service. Again I called my representative/salesperson and once again she put me off, referring me to the billing office (I really wasn’t surprised at this point, as she had showed her true colors the first time around). The billing department ‘claimed’ they had sent me a letter which I was supposedly required to fill out in order to cancel advertising. How or why would I ever think to cancel something that was free? In addition, they not only charged me for premium pricing, but they raised the price as well! When I demanded that they refund the money charged to my credit card they flat out refused. The billing guy told me I had no choice but to pay since I never returned this supposed letter. Ha! A simple phone call to my credit card company put a stop payment on it, and I never heard from The Knot again. I later found out this was common practice and The Knot had pulled this auto renew tactic on several other vendors in my area.
The second reason is this – http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-budget/articles/wedding-vendor-negotiatiing-101.aspx
Nobody knows more than I do how bad the economy is today, and we have been nothing short of aggressive when it comes to discounting weddings and wedding package upgrades, but to think of all the vendors spending good money to advertise on The Knot, you would think The Knot would publish an article advising brides how to shop smart and make the most of their dollar, not to advise them to treat their advertisers like a used car dealership, and play ‘hard ball.’ You have got to be kidding me. That article isn’t just unethical, it’s downright unprofessional. My advice to brides in regards to this is be honest, tell the vendors you are shopping about your budget and ask them if they can work with you. I think if you approach it reasonably with honesty and tact you will find most vendors will be more than willing to work with you. I know I would.
Lastly, The Knot’s message board. Try this experiment… make multiple accounts and try to comment and leave recommendations. It works. Do you think that vendors don’t often times go on there posing as brides either praising their own services or bashing a competitor? I bet you brides hadn’t thought of that, but we the vendors (DJs, bands, photographers, videographers, etc) have known about this for years. Unlike good sites like WeddingWire.com, which does an excellent job of policing their site and trying to keep the recommendations honest, The Knot does very little – if anything at all – and the vendors in the Philadelphia market have been on to it for years. So brides beware, what you think you are reading from a supposed bride raving about a service provider may very well be that service provider posing as a bride.
Remember that The Knot is a paid site, meaning that any service that is advertised on that site paid handsomely to be there, and the better the placement, the more it cost them. Perhaps if you really wanted to save money in todays economy you might shop outside of a site like The Knot, and avoid paying for a vendor’s advertising campaign built into the cost of their service. Every dollar I save by not advertising on TheKnot.com is another dollar of savings I am able to pass on to a bride and groom, and that is something that gives me great satisfaction.
Cutting Edge Entertainment