Consumer complaints alleged company misrepresented school affiliations, products and product distribution
DES MOINES – A Davenport company that allegedly duped businesses into paying for promotional advertising by misrepresenting ties to local high school sports teams has agreed to shut down its promotions business through an agreement with Attorney General Tom Miller.
The agreement, through an assurance of voluntary compliance, bars Champion Posters LLC, also doing business as Varsity Promotions and Consumer Enterprises LLC, and owner James D. Shannon, from soliciting future promotional business or producing promotional products in or from Iowa. The company’s business included marketing high school promotional sports posters.
More than 30 complaints filed with the Consumer Protection Division—largely from small businesses—alleged Champion Posters and/or Varsity Promotions made various misrepresentations in soliciting, producing and distributing sports posters. Consumers alleged company representatives falsely claimed affiliations with high school sports or booster programs, failed to deliver on promised quality and quantities of promotional products, and failed to distribute or misrepresented how they would distribute products.
“Many of those who filed complaints in this case wanted to step up in their local community by sponsoring a high school sports team, and unfortunately they got burned,” Miller said. “If your small business receives a call from any salesperson claiming they’re selling promotional products or services and are connected to a local high school team or chamber of commerce, check things out before placing an order.”
As part of the agreement, the two companies and Shannon agree to stop billing customers for any open accounts.