Public Letter to Scott Messick and Media Mayhem

Given that our online community exists in order to help others learn from other’s mistakes, share advice, provide answers, we felt it’s important to share an experience we had – albeit a working relationship than family, friendship or love – in order to help other businesses avoid the same mistakes.

We do not have a team dedicated to selling ads. Instead, we allocate our resources to maintaining a caring community for our members. For this reason, we signed up as a publisher with Media Mayhem Corporation and work with Scott Messick, President of Media Mayhem Corp, to have representation managing some of our advertising.

Our excitement for working with Media Mayhem turned into huge burden and the only way to make something positive in this situation is to help prevent another growing company from making the same mistake. We started working with Media Mayhem Corp. and Scott Messick about a year and a half ago on some advertising campaigns but are yet to receive our payment for displaying these advertisements.

We have been very patient in terms of payments with Media Mayhem. Even though the payment terms was 90 days, we have not received the payments for more than a year now. To receive payments for the campaigns Media Mayhem was able to secure, we have sent countless emails, left voice mails, etc. for more than nine months. First Scott Messick told us that the advertisers had not paid Media Mayhem because they were working together to resolve a reporting discrepancy. After about 6 months we requested to talk to advertisers directly to request our payment at which point we were told by Scott Messick that advertisers did now pay but there are other discrepancies. Our outstanding balance is about $3,700 for Media Mayhem and Media Mayhem was paid by advertisers months and months ago according to Scott Messick.

At the 1 year mark with no visible progress and waning communication (all of which was filled with false statements and broken promises) we were finally sent a check for only 15% of the total amount owed, which we took it as in good faith and told Scott Messick that we can have a payment plan since it sounds like they are in financial trouble. However we quickly found out that the check bounced and we had to pay bounced check fee.

Why the public review/disclosure for Media Mayhem

After some research on the Media Mayhem Corp and Scott Messick we found out that there are many publishers out there like us, who are not paid by Media Mayhem Corp. An example is here where many publishers who are on the same boat with us and left comments. We should have been more careful in choosing Media Mayhem Corp to work with, so this is good lesson for us for future. We have shown high flexibility to Scott Messick and Media Mayhem by agreeing on a payment plan which we ended up with a bounced check, waited now almost 1.5 years in good faith and even offered to settle for a lower amount than what’s owed. But after all we found out that these are all delay tactics with broken promises (We probably have tens of emails from Scott Messick saying he is putting a check in the email that day)

At the time, our options were limited and we genuinely liked and trusted Scott Messick and his team at Media Mayhem. Nevertheless, we are embarrassed by such a rookie mistake. We hope that Publishers and other business owners running an Online Community can learn from my experience and avoid making the same mistake. Scott Messick still gives different excuses in terms of why payments are not being sent but $3,500 is not a major loss or gain for GirlsAskGuys or any growing online community. What is a major loss is the time and resources spent trying to collect those payments. We place utmost importance on being honest, fair and ethical. Our efforts to hold Media Mayhem to the same standards have been unsuccessful. To make the best out of a bad situation, we hope our story (candid, honest and a little embarrassing!) can help other publishers select the right (and avoid the wrong) advertising agency or advertising representative to help fuel their growth and reach their goals. We currently work with top-notch ad networks and have great relationships with them.

Update
It’s very sad to see many websites are victim of MediaMayhem and Scott Messick. I think we can do something about it together through legal channels or just informing others. For many publishers its probably not worth dealing with legal fees for the amount owed by MediaMayhem but, considering we all have the same complaint, we can act together.

One of the ideas I have is getting a domain name, something lime mediamayhemfraud.com and putting our compalints there vene with links to individual blog posts like this one. With many publishers we can even get that domain name ranking high in search engines for certain keywords. I’m even willing to advertise on adwords for the terms like “scott messick”, “media mayhem” and send people to this domain.

You can contact me at info [ at ] girlsaskguys.com

27 thoughts on “Public Letter to Scott Messick and Media Mayhem

  1. I think I have come across more than enough negative reviews about Media Mayhem Corp Online Advertising that it can’t be a case of one or two. Thanks for the post!

  2. I served Media Mayhem ads on my site nearly a year before I pulled them down and resigned to never being paid. I was face with similar circumstances to your own.

    I sent emails but never got a reply. I left voicemails and was never called back. When I would finally get in touch with Scott he had an excuse for me.

    Eventually I sent them a vaguely threatening email where I told them that I was being really noisy about my situation and was warning others about them (which I had, turned out friends of mine were being propositioned by MM as well) and footnoted it with a promise that bad news travels fast online. This prompted a response from Messick who assured me that bookkeeping issues had been worked out and they had been paid and that I would be paid in full in the following weeks.

    I never was.

    I stopped replying to their emails about finally getting their act together and be able to pay me, even the hilarious ones notifying me of being selected by a major advertiser to serve their ads for a premium and they eventually got the picture. Messick and his company only owe me a couple hundred bucks at most and I’m not sure if I care if I get paid but those hucksters made a fool of me and that’s the part that sucks the most.

    I’m also not alone in this. Several of us horror bloggers have been had by those guys. This is going around and they’ve screwed a lot of people.

  3. I’m one of those guys that Scott Messick and Media Mayhem scammed. I’m not out as much but still hate to know that I was fooled by those guys. Thanks for the post

  4. I’m sort of in the same boat with MM. They DID make one payment, but it took many months. That was last October. They promised to do better, but don’t respond to emails at all for the past month. They were supposed to (per contract) per in 60 days. Now that they’re not paying OR responding, despite feeding lots of ads onto my site, I’m about ready to bail. At least with google adsense, they pay like clockwork once a month. Fortunately we’re past the contract with MM, which is looking more and more like a Ponzi scheme to me, since they apparently make payouts from time to time to certain people.

  5. Good to know, luckily I never worked with Media Mayhem or Scott before. Sorry about your losses but nice that you decided to let everyone aware. Like mentioned it’s also a good learning experience. We work with Dedicated and they are awesome with representation and also payments, I 100% recommend, you should take a look since you guys have a pretty big & nice site.

  6. John,

    Do you have an URL for Dedicated? I found something I think *might* be that company but am not sure. Like everyone else working with Mayhem, I’m considering my options and may want to get in touch with Dedicated. Thanks for your help!

    Gary Morris
    Bright Lights Film Journal

    • Hey Gary,

      I’m assuming he is referring to Dedicated LA. I’ve worked with them in the past and can vouch that they pay on time. I wish I had a contact there still, but she switched companies.

      Best of luck
      Brian

  7. I too am a publisher that is owed much money, but this from from the summer of 2008 into the early months of 2009 before I had to remove their TAGS. We are talking months and months of nonpayment and I dont want to disclose the amount but it is shameful they are doing this to soooo many publishers!!!!!

    I been contacting for 2 years… and NOTHING.

  8. Seemingly nice guy – that’s the appearance, but really a Fast talking, jiver that lived off monies owed to many clients. He cost us nearly $ 70k and still owes us $5k with endless delays, stories and sunshine dreams…do we really care what the intentions were ? At the end of the day, all the people on this list are stuck holding the bag….

  9. We bailed – waited till the end of the contract that MM created but didn’t bother to adhere to, just so we could feel *we* at least behaved professionally and on the up-and-up. I’m sorry these guys apparently lived on the dough they made from serving ads on our site and so many others, but am glad to be rid of them once and for all. Sorry MM turned out to be such a scam. It seems like a good idea to alert the attorney general, and we’ll probably do just that.

    • Well we are still in payment pending can you please let me know what legal routes you are taking, I can provide you my info and copies of our emails if payment falls through. I think this is a criminal case as it is simply not one client dispute but a trend

  10. You guys have no idea how badly MM f*** people over.

    Trust me, as a landlord for commercial / business office space, this place is a cancer.

    “Treat people the way you’d like to be treated.” I guess karma is a bitch.

    You lie down with dogs, you get fleas.

  11. We are also owed over $5K for ads served back in 2010. While Scott Messick was the main contact for publishers, Jeff Chi, as CEO, is also a responsible party. Tried to get listed as a creditor on the bankruptcy declaration, but was never able to locate the filing. That’s LA court system for you.

  12. Yep, we never got money owed to us either. If Scott Messick (and/or Jeff Chi) is involved with http://hutchmedia.com stay away!!!

    How can these people steal money from people, and the just set up again undoubtably just to do the same again… and again… and again!

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