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30/04/2012

Fraud Warning

Izzard izzfraud
Pretend publisher Phillip Izzard, self importantly proclaimed founder, publisher and owner of scam ezine magazine Inbroadcast and Le Sommet Media was named and shamed today. When he was reported, after repeated warnings, to the Advertising Standards Authority.

“Drafty” Izzard, aka Maitland-Izzard and sidekick Bryn Lister, trading from their backstreet office deliberately and systematically duped over 180 companies from a variety of different countries including the UK, US, France and Germany in an organised and deliberate plan to mug hundreds of thousands of pounds from a number of well known blue chip industry suppliers, who took the sticky fingered duo at face value, with their fake advertising magazine Inbroadcast scam.

Phillip IzzardBryn Lister
Phillip IzzardBryn Lister

Izzard and Lister boasted that their ezine empire Inbroadcast, launched last May had hundreds of thousands of readers throughout the world. Producing fake readership statistics, including elaborate and invented percentage breakdowns of their supposed readers into such categories as post production houses and production companies.


inbroadcast.com fraud, Phillip Izzard fraud


Izzard even repeatedly trumpeted fake milestone readers on his twitter feed claiming on the 8th of June last year “18,891 readers since 1st of June and growing”, on 21st of June “Over 23,000 readers in the first month”, on 20th of July “Just gone through the 39,000 reader barrier”, on 20th August “Just reached 80,051 readers”. And on the 4th of October announcing a fake 100,000th reader, “congratulations to Sid Guel of San Antonio Texas” to whom he awarded a prize.

When challenged over the validity of their claims. Lister said "I cant tell you how it’s done, it’s a secret". Whilst panicking Izzard quickly changed his online advertising price list. Dramatically reducing his fake reader claims to page views. Bringing his readership figure down to as little as 1.5% of his original figure. And began frantically removing incriminating documents from the internet.
When asked for an explanation, Izzard failed to comment.

Figures for the latest April edition, produced after the warning, showed a drop to a mere 16,264 page views. When visits by advertisers, contributors, and Izzards own visits are subtracted. This may leave a genuine reach of less than 100 persons.
Representatives of several of the companies targeted, have expressed outrage and disgust at being cheated and having their trust abused. And have voiced their intention to seek recovery of their funds.

One commentator said “Clearly Izzards scam is a drafty, fur coat no knickers job, all show and no substance”. Whilst another put it more concisely, “Izzard izzfraud”.
Fraudulent, false, exaggerated and ambiguous claims for products and services in the UK are governed by a number of agencies. Advertising frauds particularly so. Izzards claims not only flout the CAP (Committee of Advertising Practice) Code regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority. More seriously, they breach the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations, legislation which replaced the Trade Descriptions Act, enforced by the Department of Trade and Industry via rogue trader busters; Trading Standards. And most serious of all, represents Criminal Fraud.

Its understood a detailed file is being prepared for both agencies, and the Police. As well as a file for the Fraud Detail of the Las Vegas MPD, as many of the frauds took place at the Las Vegas NAB trade show. More developments are expected.

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