I truly believe that Solvaderm is a huge scam. Let me explain: last week I received a "cease and desist" letter by Solvaderm, because they did not like this post (where I talk about their bad business practices). I admit: the letter seemed at first very scary.
However, I noticed immediately 3 things that made me wonder, if this letter really is legit:
- the letter was - though full of legal terms- not written by a lawyer
- the claim that I am infringing copyrights of their trademark (I did not think so- I´ll explain below)
- the email arrived at 4 AM (why do I think this is strange? Well, this could mean only 2 things in my opinion: either the writer was up all night, restless, trying to write one hell of a scary letter to get this "unflattering" blog post removed- OR this email came from far, far away, like let´s say India! ;-)
To clarify: I am not an authorized reviewer of Solvaderm, and I am in no way associated with Primark LLC (the owner of the trademark Solvaderm) or endorsed or sponsored by them and this is NOT A skin care review. My writing here is an editorial news comment on the company´s business practices. All opinions stated here are my own. I do not speak for others in any way, shape, or form. While I know that my (smart and witty) readers are well aware of this- Solvaderm seems to be very confused- so this little disclaimer should take away the confusion that Solvaderm seems to have! ;-)
Still, it is not exactly fun, to receive such a letter and just to make sure I have not overseen anything, I sought advice from another blogger friend (oh: I should mention she is an attorney too!). She confirmed what I was already suspecting: the only "copyright infringement" in my blog post could be, that I used an image by Solvaderm, although I believe that under "fair use" terms I am actually allowed to use this image, since I critique Solvaderm and even placed the words "Don´t buy this cream" on the image, but just to make sure, I removed that image. Other than that I added the same disclaimer that I put above this paragraph on top of my blog post, to make clear, that everything I wrote, reflects my own opinion.
I was advised by my blogger friend (did I mention she is an attorney- oh yes I did!) to black out personal information in case I like to publish the letter, however: no information on this letter will lead to anything! This is all big BS in my opinion!
Holly cannoli! I found out so much -thanks to google- you will spit out your coffee, after you read this article! And if you don´t have a big cup of coffee already, well now it surely is time to get a huuuge cup of coffee and maybe a snack, cause this will be a loooong post! My first post about Solvaderm is actually quite cute, if I think now about it- very naive as well-because the more I googled, the more disturbing facts I found out about Solvaderm. Absolutely nothing seems to be right about them.
Here is the letter that I received:
Marked above red by me:
"It is clear that your websites, disguised as answers page, are intended to confuse and mislead our customers by creating a false impression that you are an authorized reviewer Solvaderm, and/or associated with Primark LLC Works."
Mhm. No. In no way does any of my wonderful readers assume, that I am associated with Primark LLC (or Solvaderm) and I am also not reviewing any skin care by Solvaderm. I clearly state in my post, that I have NEVER tried anything by Solvaderm and can´t say anything about the claims or effectiveness of the products either.
BUT this claim is in fact VERY IRONIC, because -as I will show you later in this post- this is in my opinion actually what Primark LLC is doing: creating websites that review their own products.
Also, what do they mean with "answers page"? (I am also noticing small errors such as using the plural "websites" instead of "website" and there is a "of" missing in "reviewer OF Solvaderm".
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Marked red above by me:
"This Website falsely leads the consumers to believe that the website is consumer friendly Website providing non-biased reviews, when, in fact, the website generate revenue by exploiting the "Solvaderm" trademark".
Ah- sorry Solvaderm, but my post did not really generate "revenue"- in fact to this day it is one of my least read posts ever- with almost no engagement, because, sorry Solvaderm, nobody knows you and nobody cares - that of course can change, now that you send me this very engaging letter! Also: unbiased? Well, I have never claimed that I am unbiased-in fact I have strong opinions on everything and all my readers know and (I think) also appreciate this. This is a personal blog by me and reflects my own opinions! Honest: yes! And with a lot of "me-juice".
(and I am noticing again little grammar errors:"is A consumer friendly website" and also "the website generateS revenue"- or the use of random capitalization of the word "Website". It´s just little things like this that all add together to make this unbelievable.
"They are also engaging in "initial interest confusion" in violation of the Act whereby a consumer seeking the Solvaderm product, a legitimate review of the product, is lured to a competing product page".
"Lured" LOL. I am stating explicitly that I do not review any skin care by Solvaderm. Also, did you forget which "Act", Solvaderm? I´ll help you: did you maybe mean the "Lanham Act" (sorry this is just a note for Solvaderm lol, google it, if you care).
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Overall the letter sounds all very scary, right? But when I researched the phone number and the address on the letter, everything seemed off:
- The sender: as mentioned already: Craig Schwartz is not a lawyer and I highly doubt he is a "real person" too. I can´t find any person with that name that is in any way related to Solvaderm or Primark LLC
- The address on the letter: well, it leads to a UPS store. So they are renting a mailbox at that store.
- The phone number: a quick Internet search revealed: this is a phone number used by spammers- hundreds of people are complaining (it´s probably just a Skype number and not a landline either)- like this dude here (notice his mentioning of a "heavy Indian accent"):
Primark LLC is in fact the owner of Solvaderm and a whole array of trademarks: Stemuderm, Juvabrite, Revivatone, Eyevage, Prostara and Cellmaxa, Zenofem, Menersa, Flexcerin and Provasil. Some of these trademarks are for skin care and some are for diet pills.
However: Primark LLC is (according to bizapedia) NOT ACTIVE!
Solvaderm is only a trademark- not a registered company!
Also interesting: the IP address from Solvaderms website is hosted in India! According to IPindetail this IP address is on the Blacklist! (how does a website land on the blacklist? It happens if the site is known to be frequently used to send out spam!)
As I already discovered earlier in my first post, where I naively thought Primark LLC created ONE SINGLE BLOG with "fake bloggers"- no. I think this is very scary: I can easily find 10 similar pages. But you know what, I could spend all day finding websites. In fact the IP address from "thebeautyinsiders" has 5722 websites connected...
Why is this so scary? Well, if you try to find a review of ANY of Primarks products (again: they own many trademarks from skin care to diet pills), you will land on pages that are literally written by Primark LLC themselves. THIS IS SCARY! Also: they can literally all create backlinks with each other and get better google rankings!
Here are just a handful of websites that claim to be "independent review sites", but they are all operated by Primark LLC (I don´t want to link back to them, so I leave a space on purpose before the dot):
Why do I claim that the bloggers are not real? I find it is very easy to detect and for this purpose I am staying with the page "thebeautyinsiders".
Check out the section "Meet our experts" (in the footer). It is just cramped full of grammar and spell errors! Which is quite amusing, considering the fact that they all hold amazing degrees such as "MA for English literature". Adorable how most of them went to the Oxford University and I love that Kathy Charles did an Introductory biology course- that is really worth mentioning. Lol. I hope Annie Lizstan is not only "getting" the best articles- but also writing them! Haha! But Melissa surely won the contest: 7 mistakes in only 4 sentences. Applause for that.
While the first page of thebeautyinsiders looks like a "magazine type" of a website with gossip about celebrities- the important tab is the "skin care tab". Once you read the reviews, you will realize the following: every article will lead to Solvaderm products. Solvaderm "wins" in every review with a 98% rating- while all other skin care brands get ratings way below. If another brand is reviewed, it gets a bad rating and Solvaderm is instead suggested. They also created a little logo for Solvaderm products "thebeautyinsiders winner 2017" as if this would mean anything.
And the articles themselves reveal even more hilarious: various typos and grammar mistakes- even though these "experts" all seem to have an outstanding education, apparently they can´t write! It is actually quite amusing and entertaining to read some of the articles (OK, I get the irony, as I probably have a bunch of grammar mistakes myself- but you know: English is not my first language and I don´t claim to hold a degree in English literature!)
Check out a couple of nice errors I found in yellow below! Just use some chopstick, put some looser pants (or even a looser top!) on and wear a fishbone! LMAO!
Also: all the ads on thebeautyinsiders: are for Solvaderm products.
Also very funny: the disclaimer of thebeautyinsiders!!! They have
"a fine bunch of copyright lawyers".
And very ironic: they are complaining that
"DMCA notices unfortunately are being used as an easy way for many United States marketing companies...to get copyrighted information pulled from sites".
LOL! That DMCA notice is exactly what THEY SEND ME TO GET THE INFORMATION PULLED FROM MY SITE!
The product labels of Solvaderm claim to be "Made in the U.S.". I can´t find any manufacturer though. I can only imagine 2 things: either Solvaderm uses a private label (do you know what a private label is? ANYBODY can order products by them and put their own label on top of the product to resell it) or they produce the products in India.
I am also not the only blogger that received "cease and desist" letters by Craig Schwartz. I found for example this guy that received a similar letter, or this one, or this one.
I also found a lawsuit against Primark LLC filed by Experience It Studios Inc. The plaintiff claims that Primark LLC owns websites that pretend to give unbiased reviews- while in fact they only rank of course their own products high and the others low. The plaintiff is a "diet pill" competitor and does not like the unfair marketing strategy that Primark LLC uses to sell their own products. I was very curious how the court decided but to my dismay it was dismissed because of "voluntary dismissal". What does that mean? It could mean a couple different things, but the main possibility is that either the plaintiff did not want to pursue because they did not have enough proof- or even more intriguing: maybe Primark LLC offered them money to settle things down.
LET´S SUM IT ALL UP:
- Solvaderm is a trademark owned by Primark LLC which is registered as NOT ACTIVE.
- There is no contact information available for Solvaderm or Primark LLC
- The address provided on my letter leads to a UPS store.
- The provided phone number is used by scammers
- Solvaderm´s website is hosted in India
- Solvaderms websites IP address is on the blacklist (for spammers!)
- The address provided on Solvaderm´s website and on the labels of the actual products is: Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, 07677 but there is no official building to be found by them. Regus has offices for rent in that area and you can also rent "virtual offices", so maybe that is where they are at?
- Thousands of fake review sites are owned and operated by Primark LLC to promote their own products
- Fake identities of "experts" are created on these websites and on Facebook. This is Identity theft!
- No information on the manufacturer of Solvaderm products, maybe they use a private label?
Solvaderm managed to also get a couple real bloggers review their products- but if you are a blogger, I advise you highly to NOT WORK IN ANY WAY WITH SOLVADERM (or any other trademarks owned by Primark LLC.) Also: I can see on Facebook that some of you (this is for my blogger friends) are friends with "fake blogger accounts" by Solvaderm. I highly advise you to "un-friend" anybody that you do not know!
Primark LLC and all of its trademarks is absolutely not to trust and Solvaderm is in my opinion a huge scam from India. PLEASE DON´T BUY ANY OF THEIR PRODUCTS!
Solvaderm and Primark LLC, put your looser pants on, maybe apply some chopstick (you get that only if you read everything above), but stop harassing me with your false claims.