There’s one born every minute, they say – but I have learned to be wary in internet land!

I "won" it, but I have to pay for it... NOT!

Certainly, I would be delighted to win recognition from a bonafide organization, but this morning’s nervy spam really takes the cake! A self-styled “Review Board” for a made-up organization called the US Commerce Association has just informed me that for $79-$179, I can have a glass plaque or this crystal gizmo as recognition for “marketing” my continuing education programs. Need I say I am  unlikely to “bite” such obvious bait?

Plus, I’d like to point out that an off-season, one way ticket to Hawai’i can be had for just about the same price as the crystal doo-dad. The math ain’t rocket science – what would you rather have?

Just for fun, I googled “jade glass” awards and on one website, found that a blank 8 x 8 award, similar to the one above, retails about $175.77 if you buy between 12 to 24 of ’em. So, the US Commerce Association may not be making that much money on each award, but on the other hand, they may be getting a much better deal from suppliers. But in case I’m a cheapskate about my “elite” award, USCA gives me another option – if I want to shell out $79.99, I can get the plaque below. Gosh.

Another cheaper version of my bogus "award."
A cheaper version of my bogus "award."

I dunno. Things like this really bring out my snarky side. Perhaps because I have worked so gosh darn hard this year in so many ways. Another doctorate, authoring and publishing booklets, creating ultra-innovative continuing education programs – it would groovy to actually have someone notice. But unfortunately, the internet sharks are on the alert for people like me. We may seem all too vulnerable in this treacherous economic landscape, however my disposable income can’t be tempted from my aluminum wallet quite that easily.

I can’t resist publishing the “press release” which USCA says I can use (possibly only if I buy their wares). You’ll notice that this release really spends more time touting the organization than it does actually recognizing lil’ ole me. However, I can’t see anything on their site that really identifies them as having any real purpose beyond making bogus awards and selling them. Nice work if you can get it! Maybe I’m in the wrong line! Anyway, just to have a little search engine fun, here’s the “release.”

Press Release


Amy Marsh Dba Nectar & Flame Consulting Receives 2011 Best of Albany Award

U.S. Commerce Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

NEW YORK, NY, December 9, 2011 — Amy Marsh Dba Nectar & Flame Consulting has been selected for the 2011 Best of Albany Award in the Continuing Education category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2011 USCA Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)

U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a New York City based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Association

U.S. Commerce Association


Happy Solstice or something, eh?