Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Adorama uses Strobist photographers as free advertisers

Westcott/Adorama black version

Well here is my story.

I've ordered last week, from Adorama website some more umbrellas to complement the kit of 2 that I already had from last year.

After waiting almost a week for some reply from MPEX I decided to move on with this order, even that it would cost me more. Sorry Mike Cotter (MPEX Shipping Manager) but it took you too long to reply a simple mail concerning shipping some umbrellas to Europe.

As you may well know it's difficult to find these babies here in Europe for a good price and since I like them so much for it's portability and usage I was desperately needing some more to get that David Hobby clam shell portraits look. If you do not know what I'm talking about you can see the photo here and setup shot here.

Placed the order last week (Invoice# 4226215 placed on the 15th Nov07) and received it today.

Well very fast service to Europe and Customs only took me 25,00 euros more.

Anyway I was glad that the service was fast that I didn't mind paying extra 25,00 for the customs.

I opened the box and the first thing I noticed was the labels. They now had mentioned "... with Adorama Logo"... wait a minute... with Adorama logo??? there must be something wrong in here.

Here is the link to the White and Silver umbrellas from Adorama do you see any Adorama logo there?

Take a look for yourself:

Adorama/Westcott different bar codes

On the top row are the bar codes for the ones I ordered last year and on the bottom the new bar codes they implemented. What the heck!!! They can do that???

After I've opened the umbrellas they now look like this:

Adorama Umbrella with BIG free advertisement logo

Big, white (illustrated here) or black cover for the silvered ones, Adorama logo stamped there for some free commercial advertisement :( They Suck!!

Now every time I go into a Strobist meeting or making an assignment with clients I will be forced to have their logo on my umbrellas and make campaign for their products free... NO WAY!!!

Westcott/Adorama black version

Here is the Silver one.

Westcott/Adorama white version

Here is the White one.

As you can see both of them have a BIG Adorama logo so you can serve their campaign purpose while your doing your photography assignments.

And if this was not enough I noticed that they do not make them as safely as previous ones, just let me show you a new great feature that you can even impress your friends.

Sharp tips instead of the original Round tips

Here is the side-by-side between the first ones I ordered last year (I called them original) and the new ones (represented in red as Adorama umbrella).

Maybe you are not seeing the point in here so let's take a closer look.

Westcott round tips

Original Westcott umbrella with round safety tips.

Adorama sharp tips

Adorama with sharp unfinished cut that you can easily hurt yourself or take somebodies eye.

I even hurt myself when closed one

And talking about hurting yourself... I even hurt myself on closing one of them.

You you close them you have to push a little harder inside so it could be well closed and if you do not pay attention you can hurt your finger from the position you have them while closing it.

This was a very disappointing, even though the shipping was fast, I would not expect to pay Adorama to put a BIG logo on the Westcott umbrellas and not mentioned it either on their web site nor on the Invoice... they simple put it there and now go make some advertisement of our store for free.

I've already sent a friendly email to them but I don't think a they will give a s&%# for this matter.

One day you will be buying a camera and they will stick their logo in it so you can advertise their company and products...

What can you do on a case like this ?
Could this matters be sued?
Who regulates these kind of things?
Does Westcott know this is happening, and worst are they letting?

What will become of us photographers when companies like this will start treating you as their commercial piece of advertisement and for free?

These are just the thoughts of a photographer who do not like to pay for a particular article of a certain brand and then be fooled by the seller who insist to advertise their brand on the the product you bought.

If you are buying some stuff from Adorama pay attention to this, not saying that their product and services are bad (they are not), only saying that you may be buy a Canon MarkIII with Adorama logo and free advertisement included;)

I wouldn't mind have one of these, if they were available ;)

Westcott & Strobist

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