I work for a manufacturing company which uses a multi-level marketing business model. About 50% of our business is roofing materials, which are sold through contractors. The contractors are our “distributors” - (we call them Independent Business Owners, or IBOs) - and they are free to advertise their roofing and construction businesses as they see fit.
They can use the term “Conklin Roofing Systems” in their ads as long as it’s clear they’re users of the products and not owners of Conklin Company. So they might say - “Acme Roofing, certified installers of Conklin Roofing Systems,” or something similar. This is all well and good and to the best of my knowledge most of the IBOs conform to this policy.
The problem we’ve come across recently is there are online directories out there using the names and addresses of some of our IBOs with the term “Conklin Roofing Systems” leading the listing. I’ve talked to several IBOs about this and they all claim they know nothing about it - they didn’t put their companies on the directory and had no idea they even had a listing. Yes, I know, they might be lying, but I don’t think so. These people have a longstanding relationship with the company and I doubt they would deliberately do anything to jeopardize it. Besides, some of the directories I’ve seen are clearly trash - crude interface, huge numbers of AdSense ads, wrong information, etc.
So obviously I have to try to contact all these dubious characters running these directories and get them to take our IBOs’ listings off. I don’t want to ask the IBOs to spend their time doing it; they didn’t ask for the listings in the first place and some of them are not that comfortable using the Web. Anybody got any thoughts on a good way to go about this? Anybody know of any organization, governmental or other, that I can report the directories to?