SMG $15 Million Lawsuit Against Consumer Guide Names Publications International

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Publications International (PIL) of Lincolnwood ILL., parent of Consumer Guide, has been enjoined in a $15 Million lawsuit for fraud and breach of contract by Smart Marketing Group of Orange, CA. (Case#04 C 0146 / U.S. District Court, Northern District Illinois, Eastern Division)

Earlier this month, Smart Marketing Group (SMG), a leading automobile dealer marketing company headquartered in Orange, CA amended its $15 million lawsuit against Consumer Guide to include its parent company Publications International Ltd. (PIL), which is headquartered in Lincolnwood, IL. (Case#04 C 0146 / U.S. District Court, Northern District Illinois, Eastern Division)

PIL’s primary business is publishing books and periodicals that are sold at some of the nation’s largest retailers. Consumer Guide is a wholly owned subsidiary of PIL, which has annual sales of approximately $175 million and employs more than 650 people in the U.S. and abroad.

“We were defrauded by PIL” said Michael Welch, CEO of SMG, “and our lawsuit seeks to recover damages.” According to the amended complaint, Consumer Guide and PIL knowingly schemed to defraud SMG through a series of false promises and concealed truths. As well, SMG alleges that PIL and Consumer Guide breached agreements with SMG and left hundreds of dealer contracts unfulfilled.

The initial lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern Division of the Northern District of Illinois in January 2004. In December 2005, HowStuffWorks, Inc., an online media company headquartered in Atlanta, GA, acquired Consumer Guide’s internet property from PIL, and hired employees of Consumer Guide’s New Media Group to continue its operations.

“Hundreds of dealerships, that SMG had signed up for PIL, cancelled after Consumer Guide failed to deliver on dealer contracts.” said Welch, “And we intend to stand up for our rights and those of the dealers with whom we have done business for years.”

SOURCE: Smart Marketing Group (SMG)


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William Magarity

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