- its role as a partner in the Cons' CIMS data collection on Canadian voters used by 97 Con candidate campaigns in the last election,
- allegations made by at least one former RMG call centre employee that their scripts were directing voters to the wrong polling stations,
- aggressive fundraising tactics for the Cons with pensioners, and
- its merger with Xentel.
In March RMG put out a press release protesting the unfairness of being smeared by its association with Xentel, a company with a dodgy robo/live call history in both Canada and the US, that RMG had "acquired" two years earlier.
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 XentelAs I wrote at the time, what was less clear was which company had acquired the other, with most news reports, like Bloomberg's Business Week for example, describing RMG as "a subsidiary of Xentel" and iMarketing Solutions as an "alternate name of Xentel".
Three weeks ago, iMarketing Solutions Group published its Canadian Stock Exchange Listing.
In the following excerpts, iMS is "The Company".
"On October 28, 2010, the shareholders of the Company approved a name change of the Company to iMarketing Solutions Group Inc. from Xentel DM Incorporated (“Xentel”) as an initial step in rebranding and reorganizing the operations.
The Company merged with RMG on March 3, 2010.
On behalf of political clients, the Company conducts direct tele-service contact with potential voters to assist in the assessment and evaluation of political and consumer attitudes.
The Company continues the practice of subcontracting some of its work. This is done on a strategically selective basis where the subcontractor has superior data in a specific area and/or can execute the work on a more economical basis.
Marketing List Rentals : The Company rents selected proprietary databases to not-for-profit organizations where they do not compete with our normal business activities. These databases are developed through our normal course of business.
Re the CRTC's Do Not Call Lists, operated by Bell Canada :
A number of exemptions were made in the DNCL due to efforts of the Company and a group of diverse stakeholders. The following types of calls are exempt from using the DNCL:Throughout the report are numerous allusions to financial hardship with "substantial doubt that the Company will be able to continue as a going concern" without "access to additional financing".
(a) calls made by or for registered political campaigns, associations, candidates or persons seeking a political nomination,
(b) calls made to parties with whom the caller has an existing business relationship,
(c) calls made by or on behalf of a registered charity
(d) calls made for market research purposes
Equipment purchases of $1,839,000 and $1,453,000 in 2010 and 2011 were "related mostly to the ongoing update of the Company’s dialing platform and information technologies".
The principals are making out ok though, with compensation packages of well over $½ million each for Chairman Platz and President Winograd for 2010, not including their directors' fees.
David A. Winograd in Wisconsin was President of US operations of Xentel DM since 2003 - now President of iMarketing Solutions.
Michael Platz, Chairman, CEO, and "founder of the predecessor company Xentel", served as Co-Chief Executive Officer of iMS til Sept 2011 and Chairman til Jan. 2012. Now just a iMS director.
Andrew Langhorne, Mike Harris Voter Contact Director for 7 years and COO of RMG since Nov. 2006, now COO for iMS.
Michael M. Davis, founder of RMG, is "Managing Director, Political"
Listed among iMS's 20 subsidiary companies like RMG and Xentel Inc - half of them Canadian and half US - is Stewart Braddick's Target Outreach for Republican campaigns.
Back in 2005, Sean Holman at Public Eye Online reported on a heavily loaded Xentel telemarketing poll leading up to the Vancouver civic elections. Their questions :
Number One: "The Vancouver Sun today says that the campaign is getting dirty and scare tactics are starting to fly. Does this make you more or less likely to vote?"
Two: "It says in the Sun that Jim Green left COPE in tatters and with a great big debt. Does this make you more or less likely to vote?"
And three: "Both Sam Sullivan and Jim Green are accusing each other of dirty tricks and negative campaigning. Does this make you more or less likely to vote?"Xentel has merged with the Cons #1 voter marketing firm - working, as RMG puts it, "exclusively with right-of-centre campaigns ". Does this make you more or less likely to vote?