Boca Realtor Promotes Highly Questionable "Best Of" Award

The Caren Nealon group (Nealon is seen above) is promoting its "Best of Boca" award. The award, according to a former federal prosecutor, may be a scam.

The Caren Nealon group (Nealon is seen above) is promoting its “Best of Boca” award. The award, according to a former federal prosecutor, may be a scam.

Ed Note: We remind readers that real estate agents are, simply put, affiliates of an agency but not employees. An action by one agent should not tarnish the agency’s reputation. 

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The Boca Raton-based Caren Nealon Group sent BocaNewsNow.com an email last night promoting its receipt of a “Best of Boca” Award.

It looked suspicious to us — kind of like the diplomas you could buy from the classifieds in Rolling Stone Magazine back in the 80s — so we did some searching.

Turns out, several news organizations have also researched the “best of” award and strongly suggest that the award, bestowed by “AwardClaim.org,” is nothing more than a marketing gimmick to get the recipient to purchase a $100 plaque.

AwardClaim.org has no contact information on its website, just information about shipping and handling.

Reported the Hampton Roads (VA) Business Journal, which also questioned an AwardClaim.org press release:

“I think it is a scam. I think that’s a fair word to use here,” said Williams Mullen partner John Davis, a former federal prosecutor of 21 years. “But it may not be anything that, at least criminal law, can take action about. Looking around I don’t see any sign that law enforcement has been able to do much about it.”

And others have reported that the press release — which you can read below — is the identical press release sent on behalf of company after company, where only the company name is different.

While we don’t know Caren Nealon, our experience is that the good realtors in town don’t send press releases promoting a “best of” award issued by a website that provides no contact information, just shipping and handling information for the “best of” plaque that they are now entitled to purchase. Here’s the Caren Nealon Group’s press release.

The Caren Nealon Group has been selected for the 2014 Best of Boca Raton Award in the Real Estate Consultant category by the Boca Raton Award Program.


Each year, the Boca Raton Award Program identifies companies that we 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 our community. These exceptional companies help make the Boca Raton area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Boca Raton Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Boca Raton Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Boca Raton Award Program

The Boca Raton Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Boca Raton area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Boca Raton Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

Now read a press release for a company in Pittsburgh. See any similarity?

PITTSBURGH July 3, 2014 — Chop Wok and Talk has been selected for the 2014 Best of Pittsburgh Award in the Cooking Schools category by the Pittsburgh Award Program.

Each year, the Pittsburgh Award Program identifies companies that we 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 our community. These exceptional companies help make the Pittsburgh area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Pittsburgh Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Pittsburgh Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Pittsburgh Award Program

The Pittsburgh Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Pittsburgh area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Pittsburgh Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

 

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