The Responsive Marketing Group Inc.('RMG')'s proud, 21-year reputation for providing voter contact services has come under increasing attack through speculative media reports and accusations in Parliament that are without basis in fact. ... Liberal and NDP MPs have taken to knowingly and deliberately misrepresenting RMG's business practices in the House of Commons, by tying past practices of a company that RMG acquired two years ago - Xentel DM Inc., to our current operations, despite the fact that the very issues they refer to occurred before RMG's acquisition of Xentel.
Since our acquisition of Xentel, we have instituted a wholesale reorganization at the company:Ok, let's look at those claims one at a time.
1. I confess I'm a bit confused about the merged RMG/Xentel joint management team during the last election and whether RMG acquired Xentel or the other way around.
McMaher : Call centre used aggressive sales pitch to raise money for Tories
RMG merged in 2010 with Xentel DM, a Calgary-based telemarketing firm that worked primarily for charities in the United States. The company now operates under the umbrella of iMarketing Solutions Group. ... During the election campaign in the spring of 2011, the merged company was run by co-CEOs Michael Davis, formerly of RMG, and Michael Platz, formerly of Xentel.And is Linked In at all reliable? Because it lists David Winograd - "Greater Milwaukee Area" - as "President of Xentel : Currently holds this position" and "President of IMarketing Solutions Group : March 2010 – Present .
More joint management news from Bloomberg BusinessWeek :
"Mr. Michael P. Platz served as a Co-Chief Executive Officer of iMarketing Solutions Group Inc. (alternate name: Xentel DM Inc.) until September 6, 2011 and previously served as its President. Mr. Platz also served as Chief Executive Officer of Xentel DM Inc."Target Outreach, RMG's brand for its US operations based in Washington DC, Ft.Lauderdale, and Milwaukee, also lists Michael Platz as President.
From Business Week's Company Overview of The Responsive Marketing Group Inc.
"The Responsive Marketing Group Inc. designs and executes integrated programs that use direct mail, the telephone, and online tools. The company is headquartered in Toronto, Canada with office operations in Washington D.C. As of March 3, 2010, The Responsive Marketing Group Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Xentel DM Inc".Right, so now I have no idea who owns who here.
2. New systems and quality control.
So what's up with Xentel? Well, lots in the US, but here's one in Canada:
Five years ago The Star did a story on fundraising consultant Craig Copland and six Canadian charities he founded and ran out of a post office box belonging to Xentel.:
Copland finds Xentel new charity clients. Xentel pays him royalties for charities sent its way. He also served on Xentel's board of directors until the Star started asking questions.Here's the update on that one from a year ago :
Plug pulled on charity after audit reveals money misspent March 7, 2011 :
An organ donation charity that made emotional pleas to Canadians to help save lives has been shut down after federal auditors found most of the money collected went to fundraising and administrative fees.
This is the second charity Copland helped found that has been shut down by the Canada Revenue Agency in the last two years. A third charity, which paid a Copland-run company nearly $900,000, was shut down last month.
Auditors also said the Emergency Foundation paid more than $4.5 million to telemarketer Xentel and another firm while listing payments of only $1.9 million to charity programs.Xentel carries a reputation in North America for aggressive pitches.
"Xentel spokesperson Len Wolstenholme said his company prefers to avoid costly U.S. legal battles and when necessary settles the case, admits no guilt and pays a fine."Leonard Wolstenholme is Chief Compliance Officer of IMarketing Solutions Group Inc
At the bottom of Con MP Laurie Hawn's telemarketing services contract with RMG for the last election - underneath the bit about "developing scripts and background materials in consultation with the client", the "attempted collection of email addresses", and "data transfer in CIMS format" - is the following note about confidentiality :
"The CAMPAIGN's lists shall be confidential and RMG (including its related and affiliated companies) shall not directly or indirectly, knowingly disclose this data to or for the benefit of any person, firm, corporation, association, business or governmental or private agency of any kind whatsoever or wherever situated, other than the CAMPAIGN and the Conservative Party of Canada."So does RMG ( including its related and affiliated companies) own the data on Canadians?
Do they store it in Canada?
Dec 21, 2012 Update : RoboCon : RMG/Xentel/iMarketing Solutions revisited
Today's RoboCon news :
Former call centre worker files affidavit over election calls
McMaher: The Con Party and RMG reject former RMG call centre employee Annette Desgagne's sworn affidavit that phone workers misdirected voters.
CBC : 6 robocall ridings had no polling changes
Update : POGGE : Is this really the story you want to go with?