Many people here also own or know someone who has bought an SVS sub. I own several subs including an SVS PC12-Ultra which I purchased before myEP600s. SVS has been known to be a hyperaggressive marketer but this post by Clint DeBoer raises serious questions about business practices and ethical behaviour at SVS. To me it also explains the concerted attacks on Axiom's new EP subs in the fall of 2005. Reading this post it looks like their attacks against Axiom have continued at Audioholics. I'd like to thank Gene and Clint at Audioholics for raising the bar by kicking out SVS as an advertiser. Maybe SVS will change there ways before further damaging their brand image by these outrageous guerrilla marketing tactics.
Why We Fired SVS as an Advertiser
Several things have gone on in the past few weeks that have caused us to think about what's important to us and how we want to treat the forum community. One thing that we have realized is that at some point, when people take advantage and do not heed implied requests and basic etiquette you have to make a decision.
SVS has been an advertiser at Audioholics for some time. We like their products and continute to believe they make some of the cheapest subs out there with a good "bang for the buck" factor. Regardless of not allowing them to advertise, this has nothing to do with them as a manuafacturer.
As a company, however, their marketing methods have gotten out of control - at least on our site. If you'll notice, there is likely not a single subwoofer thread on this forum that doesn't have people talking about SVS. There is a reason for this and it has to do with the marketing methods of SVS as a company. They freely admitted to us that forum participation of their staff and SVS owners is the driving force behind their marketing strategy. This is actually kind of intelligent - until it is abused.
It is being abused on our site - to the point that we were being told that attempting to keep review threads on topic for non-SVS products was basically unacceptable behavior on our part. We were being told how to behave on our own site.
We attempted to let it go and redirect threads as needed, but a recent discussion made it clear that this was unacceptable. We STILL were going to quietly let them go on their way until a recent post appeared on our forums regurgitating the exact conversation SVS had with Gene recently.
Originally Posted by Sjmarcy
I just joined this forum, and read a few threads. I note the declaration: "Where audio and video equipment undergoes rigorous objective and subjective tests by our staff, ensuring that marketing slogans aren't the only guidelines for your home theater choices"....yet I see the President posting encoutgement for Axiom products, a site advertiser. Hmmm. And another post where a member was called a fanboy by an Audioholic staff member on a different matter?
What's up with the difference between this sort of thing and the Forum's written mission statement?
Note the post count. This was written by someone who had a direct conversation with our contact at SVS. That pretty much did it for us.
As a result we have fired SVS as an advertiser and will enforce the following forum rules:
We will not ban SVS threads about SVS products - they make some cool subs, so people are free to talk about them as they'd like - in their own threads.
All SVS employees have been banned from the website.
We will not allow SVS posts in non-SVS review threads. I'm sorry, but it has come down to this.
Any critiques of this policy should be done via PM, not on the forums. We took a long time to come to this conclusion and we were willing to lose a lot of monthly income over this in order to make sure we don't allow our forums to become a marketing tool for a single advertiser. We are not the first (or likely last) website to enforce similar rules.
Thanks for your understanding. We hate making stuff like this public, but it seemed we were given no choice in the matter.
Editor in Chief