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The Union-Tribune has been boasting of the success of its "Daily Deal" promotion, in which it touts steep discounts of 50% and more at businesses. Recently it wrote a purported news story bragging how a deal to give a 60% discount on a summer camp session had generated $366,035. However, on Monday the U-T filed suit against Shoutback Concepts, dba Click-N-Shout, based in Cleveland. According to the breach of contract suit filed in federal court in San Diego, Shoutback was to process transactions and collect funds from individuals taking advantage of the Daily Deals. But the U-T says Shoutback collected $573,167.18 that it owes the U-T, and has ignored repeated demands to give the sum back. Thanks to Matt Potter for passing this item along.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 May 3, 2011 @ 12:52 p.m.

That's not good. they may be going BK.

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Don Bauder May 3, 2011 @ 8:04 p.m.

It's possible the Cleveland company is in financial trouble. I would think the U-T could find another to provide those services. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh May 3, 2011 @ 12:57 p.m.

Many of those discounts sound too good to be true. Could it be that they are? The U-T will probably never see a cent. But there was a time when a paper like the U-T didn't get scammed. Management was so conservative it would have never tried something like that. Things change, even at the U-T.

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Don Bauder May 3, 2011 @ 8:06 p.m.

Yes, those discounts are steep. But if there is enough volume.... Best, Don Bauder

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MURPHYJUNK May 4, 2011 @ 7:47 a.m.

google most of the online ads the ut runs with the word scam in the search and see what the real deal is.

biggest one running lately is directbuy

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Visduh May 4, 2011 @ 7:32 p.m.

Directbuy San Diego is a major sponsor of Rick Roberts on KFMB who swears by it. He "never pays retail for anything" now. Is someone saying that he's been taken in, or is giving bogus testimony on the air? No, no, Rick, say it ain't so!

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Don Bauder May 5, 2011 @ 7:18 a.m.

Ted Leitner swore by Metabolife, too. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder May 5, 2011 @ 10:43 a.m.

Most of the talk show hosts are gasbag shills. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh May 5, 2011 @ 7:56 p.m.

Aah, Metabolife. Not only did Teddy swear by it, Hedgecock claimed that it kept him in two pant sizes smaller. Those guys are really something! Now it appears as if the U-T has sunk to about the same level as the gasbags. But who will tell the world about the scams that appear in the U-T when the U-T is a cosponsor? Watch your wallet.

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Don Bauder May 5, 2011 @ 8:45 p.m.

Yes, there is some very dubious advertising running in the U-T -- say, for savings rates that are totally unrealistic in this money market. Helen Copley didn't want to run ads placed by crooks. I used to take her at her word and complain to the advertising department when it would take ads from some bandit I was writing about. (Sometimes the U-T would cite the First Amendment in running blatantly false ads.) I made myself unpopular in advertising. Of course, I was unpopular everywhere in that organization. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh May 7, 2011 @ 7:49 p.m.

On the other hand, the U-T could be very difficult to work with if you were an advertiser. The attitude in the retail group was "we own the market, and you'll take what we give you, and pay plenty for it." That adds up to them making it costly for locally owned retailers to get the word out, while taking dirty money from scamsters. Great.

Now many of those local retailers are gone, and the other retailers are making little use of the U-T except as a means to get their preprinted ads distributed. Who is buying full page ads now? The heaviest users in past weeks are these dubious buyers of gold and old jewelry. How much old gold is out there? By now, you'd think most of it would have been bought up. Their ads look like something from the 1930's, making lavish but vague claims that they pay better than the other guy. Gold has a spot market price, and no buyer can resell the gold for significantly more than another one.

The age of the educated consumer is over, and newspapers are reduced to taking ad revenue from sleazeballs.

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