"It appears I've been scammed," says Glenda Blessing of MAG Small Engine, in Garden City. "We worked up a design for the ad. I said I would give a deposit of $100 and pay the rest when I got a proof for the ad."
She says MAG Small Engine is a staunch supporter of Bronco sports and has supported them in the past. She did a similar advertisement last year, but with a different company.
Spirit Publications, address unknown, has contacted businesses in the area charging $270 for ads in the Fall Football Schedule.
"Shane said I would be getting the proof via e-mail in a couple of days," she says. That was more than a week ago. "On Saturday, I checked my credit card and lo-and-behold the full amount was charged. I called the phone number listed with the charge and got a sex line."
She knew she was in trouble and called Better Business Bureau. Calls by BBB were unanswered and it was unable to find Spirit Publications' address.
Boise State has not licensed a company named Spirit Publications to produce Boise State related posters.
"No business wants to pay hundreds of dollars to get its name on poor quality products or products that are not distributed as promised," says Dale Dixon, CEO for Better Business Bureau serving the Snake River Region.
BBB offers the following tips for businesses solicited to buy advertising space:
Research the soliciting company at snake-river.bbb.org. Deal only with reputable companies with good track records. Unethical businesses have been known to collect money for ads that never appear or which see only limited distribution.
Get any advertising contract in writing and make sure you understand it before signing the agreement.
Withhold a portion of the payment until you are satisfied that the ad seller has met his or her obligations.