Letter to the Editor: Did Council Approve A $20K Scam?

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Terry Bradshaw is a busy man.

When not working as co-host of Fox NFL Sunday, Terry will soon be seen nationally promoting the township of Parsippany “as a great place to do business and a great place to live,” according to Mayor Barberio.

Aside from  “Today in America,” Terry can also be seen on these programs:

These programs have one thing in common. They are all owned by Paul Douglas Scott and a company called U.S. Media Television, Inc. The Parsippany Town Council recently entered into and approved a $20,000 deal with them.  

A name may just be a name but U.S. Media Television has in the past been called Platinum Media Group, New Line Media Solutions and Encore Media Solutions, just to name a few.  The company and its owners have been sued by the Florida attorney general, former clients who paid $20,000 like Parsippany and broadcaster Greg Gumbel (Terry’s predecessor) for fraud.  

Here is one such settlement: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MRAY-76KKPA/$file/PlatinumAVC.pdf

It took me less than 10 minutes to do a cursory search on U.S. Media Television and Mr. Scott.   Parsippany residents should expect its council members to at least do the same before voting on something they don’t know anything about.

Jonathan Nelson, Parsippany

Jeff March 10, 2012 at 12:16 PM
Sounded like a scam and more importantly like an absolute waste of money. I want to know how this was going to result in any ROI. If they want positive influx of business they have to provide an actual value proposition... Not Terry Bradshaw at a viewing at 3 am on an unknown cable channel. There are always free advertising means that can be pursued. Let's bring back the Pride in Parsippany.
Jeff March 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM
This by the way is at least the second time that this council has been CAUGHT not performing any due diligence. In case of Parsippany Website - this was a no-bid contract for an over priced canned product which does not provide up to date info. Besides this latest scam that doesn't take much time to uncover - we now have Field of Dreams a potential 4.5 million cost that has been constantly questioned as overpriced to an incorrect use of the Open Space Funds. This is a concerning trend. I expect more from our town council and mayor.
Bob Crawford March 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM
There is a more fundamental question that needs to be asked and that speaks to the process by which Mayor Barberio makes decisions that impact the residents of Parsipany. He appears to be unable or unwilling to take the time to understand an issue, convene experienced and knowledgeable people to advise him on the issue, trust their input, and then make a decision that serves the best interests of Parsippany. Whether, its immaturity, inexperience or incompetence, the Mayor continues to believe that he, and he alone, knows what is best for Parsippany. Parsippany is too large and too complex for that style of leadership. Something has to change and change soon.
Pete March 10, 2012 at 03:27 PM
"Follah the dollah" -- who in the town government has connections to the "production company" ??
Jeff March 10, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Pete. In this case I don't want to think there are any connections. I would like to believe this simply another case of good intentions, but not following due diligence or process. Getting bids or doing research as opposed to knee jerk response is my expectation
Jonathan Nelson March 10, 2012 at 06:32 PM
@Pete, No one in town had any connections to U.S. Television Media. The company cold called the mayors office, pitched the idea and scammed the mayor into thinking he only had a short time frame to sign the agreement. Reading his previous statements, the mayor seemed sold on the idea because the town would retain the license to the five minute video. Whatever. I really hope the mayor and council ask the township attorney to find an out to this contract. Here is a link to the production agreement another town recently had with U.S. Media Television. I assume it's similar to the one Parsippany signed. http://www.myoldsmar.com/pages/agendas/oldsmarfl_councilagendas/05032011/Item008.pdf
Jeff March 10, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Wow. Thank goodness no prince from the Nigerian throne called with lottery in. Seriously I can't believe we are this naive.
David Comora March 10, 2012 at 10:23 PM
There are many good video production companies and video professionals who live and work in Parsippany who would have produced this program for a fraction of the price, for the honor, (myself included). There are also some Parsippany celebs who may have had a personal interest in hosting/narrating (Jane Krakowski?). I'm not sure how much value Bradshaw adds. I've viewed the piece this company created for Fayettesville, Arkansas, and its not anything special. There is a cookie cutter opening from Bradshaw, that they must paste at the head of all of their videos, and then a voice over with sound quality that doesn't quite match the opening. Hopefully we'll get some choice airings where the proper demographic is watching. I've produced and run informercials late night and there is a reason its cheap...if you're target audience isn't watching you've wasted your money. Fortunately, these days there are other ways to circulate this video directly to the target audience that are more effective than broadcasting. Hopefully there is a plan for this in the cards. "Lindley Smith, Fayetteville’s communications director, said...She said she had no way to quantify the impact of the video on the city’s economy, but believes there have been benefits." There certainly should be some vehicle in place to measure the ROI...A call to action phone #? A website address where you can measure activity after airing? Hopefully there are some metrics in place, if not, what's the point?
Mark March 11, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Oh my god, this mayor is utterly incompetent. And the council is absolutely worthless, they may as well not even be there. At least Cesaro had enough of a brain to vote against it! If this situation doesn't prove it I don't know what ever will. The people in this town need to wake up. The town is run by 6 people and there are zero checks and balances beyond a small collection of citizens. I don't care what the mayor's intentions were. There is more to running a town than being a nice guy with good intentions. Maybe someday the people of this town will demand more but I doubt it.
Selene March 11, 2012 at 04:40 AM
My sadness and deep regret was that Barberio was voted into office of Mayor. I asked a co-worker after the election why he voted for Barberio and he said "there were signs all over the place". Stupid is as stupid does. I had so many reservations about a candidate for mayor who didn't even have a college degree. How did this happen? Barberio is a proud HS grad. GREAT! I know he seems like a nice guy, but that is not a qualification for holding the office of mayor in one of the largest towns in Morris county. Maybe going forward people will understand that a mayor needs to be educated and smart. Not a dude who had a dream about being mayor since he was 5 years old and the puppet of a Governor who is corrupt and self serving. Wake up people.
Selene March 11, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Politics suck and since our former mayor was assigned a "nice" position after the town election by the governor, I can only imagine why Luther didn't even try to campaign against Barberio.
Dorothy March 11, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Waste of money? What about the money the town spent on a Town Clerk? Did they check her credentials? Oh and lets not forget about the Notice of Tort Claim filed by 4 Township employees and the 4 Million Dollar price tag.
Natalie Davis (Editor) March 11, 2012 at 10:35 PM
The town says it did check her credentials, and she won the position over nearly 30 other applicants. What makes you leap to the assumption that something is or was wrong with the clerk? It would be unwise to assume anything until all the facts come in.
Dorothy March 12, 2012 at 12:36 AM
"It would be unwise to assume anything until all the facts come in". I look foward to you reporting those facts!
Dorothy March 12, 2012 at 12:37 AM
And for those who don't want to wait. There is always that OPRA request form.
Jonathan Nelson March 14, 2012 at 04:21 AM
At the end of a long council meeting, the mayor and township council did the right thing and rescinded their vote. Good for them
Jim Nicholas Veser March 14, 2012 at 01:52 PM
What is not mentioned in this thread is the fact that we, the production company responsible for producing Today in America, told the township that we were more than happy to allow Parsippany out of their binding agreement with us, and a rescind was not even necessary. Furthermore, I challenge Mr. Brian Stanton to produce these 20 cities/municipalities that have had a negative experience with our company. In fact, I challenge him to find 1. It is unfortunate that the Mayor and Township Administrator made a sound decision to utilize funds for branding purposes and in this case were undermined by the township in which they were elected to serve. Our value proposition is clear and any educated person who takes the time to research that will understand it. The most important thing at play here is the gross misrepresentation of our company on these pages, and for an ethical writer, Ms. Davis, to not have called the company for comment, well... I am sorry for the township, that they are unable to allow their elected officials to do the job they were hired to do, and I hope for all in Parsippany that you find a way to stop this approach to things as what has been written on these pages has done way more damage than any 5 minute educational segment on the township for $19,800 could ever do. Accountability has long been lacking on the world wide web, but times are changing. Educate yourself before you write. Sincerely, Jim Nicholas Senior Vice President United States Media
Jonathan Nelson March 14, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Mr. Veser. In Parsipany, the process usually works this way: you, or a representative of your company would publicly attend a council meeting and explain in detail what the township would be receiving for its $19,800 investment. The council and public would then be able to ask you questions. The administration was told by someone from your company that the contract needed to be signed fast because you "had to meet a production schedule." One of biggest complaints your firm receives is the hard sell. Another, and I quote you from the Poterville Recorder is, “We pay for the programing, but our programing is very editorial in format......which differentiates it from an infomercial." How is a five minute infomercial not an infomercial? Of the $19,800 Parsippany was to pay, how much of that cost was for the airing? In 2005 I aired commercials on CNN and Headline News in the New York market and the cost was a fraction of what you charge. There is nothing libelous with concerned citizens pointing out that Parsippany would be much better served producing a video with a local production company and paying for their own air time directly with the cable operator of it's choosing. If you would like to debate this publicly, I'd be more than happy to.
Jim Nicholas Veser March 14, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Mr. Nelson, Nobody is disagreeing with the majority of your points. It would be outrageous to think that our producers could attend every city council meeting to get approval for our program, and I am quite certain you could produce a production for a fraction of the cost, but it would not be hosted and narrated by Mr. Bradshaw (see Q score) and you would not have access to our national distribution, and you certainly would not have the production quality of a national firm with just under a 100 employees producing the project. The issue is comments such as snake oil salesmen, fraud, scam, and other words that don't belong in a discussion such as this. We are all very hard working people that create an excellent product and in the end 99.99% of our clients are extremely pleased with the result. Happy enough to return and do business with us again in 80% of those cases. I think you would agree that it is quite libelous to make comments such as the ones I mentioned basing them on blog entries and opinions of our sales model. Lastly, if I were in the Parsippany area, I would be more than happy to debate you publicly on this as very few people understand today's media and therefore spend their money on traditional PR/Marketing opportunities that never work. Content and ownership over that content is king in a YouTube/Facebook world, and that is what we provide... an opportunity to own rights to a high quality piece that has value forever.
Tom Wyka March 14, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Selene - very few people know the issues or people when they are voting further down the ballot. It's a combination of lack of press coverage and local apathy. (thanks Patch for trying to correct that). The GOP enjoys a registration advantage in town of about 10k to 7k (Dems) - sort of what I'd call "political entitlement" and in a town of over 27K voters is takes about a 6-figure campaign to overcome that. Quite daunting - eh?
Tom Wyka March 14, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Mr. Veser - As a caveat - we don't need a personal appearance - we'll settle for just a bit of public discussion. Someone from your organization said the Mayor had to sign-on in haste where anyone that's been to a high-pressure time-share presentation is savvy enough to know is pure bunk. Our money was just as good next month as it was this month. Simply not good for your reputation. I suggest you look into that practice first and foremost.
Jim Nicholas Veser March 14, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Mr. Wyka, again, simply not true. We do not use high pressure, quick turn around tactics unless it is indeed the case. I suppose it is possible that we were up against a deadline in filling that particular segment, but I am quite certain the township was aware that we were willing to wait the necessary time for them to approve the expenditure. We do it in every other case. I don't see why it would have been different in yours.
Jonathan Nelson March 14, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Mr. Veser, I have to say that I give you credit for continuing this dialogue. I direct anyone interested to the Chatham Daily News in Canada: http://www.chathamdailynews.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2707967&archive=true Other than the ability to pay, what are the requirements for being selected to appear on "Today in America"? Since Elgin county is in Canada, I assume they don't pay much attention to the consent order your firm signed with the Florida attorney general. If it had been represented in the States that "Today in America" was produced by Fox News, that would be in clear violation of that consent order. I'm happy to go tit for tat with you.
Tom Wyka March 14, 2012 at 09:49 PM
OK Mr. Veser - Guess the Mayor was just in an awful rush. Whatever you say.
Jim Nicholas Veser March 15, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Mr Wyka, I am not the one insulting your mayor. The township has done a good enough job at that. I happen to think Mayor Barberio is on the right track and his politics are in line with what the entire country is looking for. Mr. Nelson, rather than directing people to an article where a third party misrepresented our relationship with the networks, why not stick to the matter at hand, and call Kate from Elgin County, because she will tell you how thrilled she was with the project and how professional our team was. This is all about protecting the township and making sure their money is well spent so I would imagine that would be what you are interested in. This is not a violation of our assurace of voluntary compliance. That is exactly what it is, assurance of voluntary compliance. I would feel safe knowing that an organization has volunteered to comply with industry guidelines.
Jeff March 15, 2012 at 01:18 AM
I would be interested in hearing a debate. As far as Mr Bradshaw goes - what possibly does Terry have with interesting people or businesses to move to Parsippany. What is his connection - does he even know how to spell Parsippany. I would rather have Ponch from CHIPs. What time were these infomercials going to run? 3am on ION channel. Joking aside I don't see the value proposition and I do see many other sites that refer to you as a scam.
TJ Ritter April 02, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Please check out the updated website of www.parsippanyunite.com A new Fact Check section has been added. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact Parsippany Unite. Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don't believe is right. Jane Goodall
VietNam Vet August 28, 2012 at 04:58 AM
What else is new with this town? This mayor was a big mistake because he is taking this town down instead of building it up, he has proven he is not a good leader for this town and has cost us many thousands of dollars in lawsuits as well as waste our tax dollars.
VietNam Vet August 28, 2012 at 05:02 AM
Oh Bob, I so agree with you. I just think the Mayor has his own agenda and is out to make money and is following bad advise from the towns legal council. Thy are both incompetent to lead this town except into the ground.
unknownauthor February 07, 2013 at 04:59 AM
Besides Terry's promoting Herbalife, another fraud everyone should be aware of is the Amway Tool Scam. Google "Stop The Amway Tool Scam Wordpress" for more information, and forward this information to every non-Distributor/IBO you know, so they don't get ripped off.


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