Is “Best of The Upstate” really just an ad buy?

This morning I received two messages.  One was letting me know that The Greenville News Best of the Upstate survey was out and that a friend has been voted for.. and another was from a friend reminding me to vote for him.  So, I clicked the link and started selecting who to vote for in the 50 categories.  The first thing I noticed was that the survey gave you one suggestion for every category, with some categories having two or three suggestions.  I went ahead and voted but then decided to circle back to see if it was always the same suggestions, and it was.

I then posted the link on my Facebook and emailed it to a few friends… very quickly I received responses wanting to know why there were suggestions… and here is what was dug up with a little help from a few friends…

  • For a sum of apparently $850 you could have yourself or your company suggested.
  • Greenville News offers to sell the companies the papers at $0.15 each in order to do all the ballots…they deliver PALLETS of papers to the businesses…and the businesses hire kids for $7/hour to fill out the forms. It’s considered paid circulation, so they can report it to ABC so they look better to ad agencies and so forth!
  •  At least one real estate company in the Upstate does have their realtors and assistants do this in order to win the award.

Seem like a scam to you? I’m thinking about doing my own poll.. but it won’t included things like “best assistive listening device store”… it will be real things like “Best Bar”, “Best Fast Food”, “Best Massage”, etc… so help me come up with some ideas for categories… and no… $850 can’t buy you an award from me… it probably can’t even get you a compliment to tell you the truth. 🙂

-j

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4 thoughts on “Is “Best of The Upstate” really just an ad buy?

  1. You’d be surprised at how many of these awards and such are given out like this….sometimes it’s less subtle — you’ll see people chosen for honors and can directly relate how much ad money was spent…. it’s ridiculous and insulting.

    Good job pointing it out, though. Great research. 🙂

  2. I think it sad that people are not aware of this. We all laugh at some of the “winners”, a place that has been around for 6 months (at most) turns out to be the BEST place ever! Or how they will invent a category for a certain business. Like people have a preferred choice and voted for best dog pooper scoopers. (Sarcasm)
    It use to be a little bit more democratic, but sadly now it is basically a pay-us/you-win thing. Thanks for getting people to realize that sometimes the media is not on the up and up! (Shocker!)

  3. The biggest laugh is that you can’t find a list of winners anywhere on the Greenville News site. If the sNews is so proud of this award, why the secrecy? Gee…Go figure.

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