Student groups irked by marketing company

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By Josephine Lim

Maurice Cacho

News Editor

The student responsible for fundraising at the Ryerson Dragonboat Team is upset with the marketing firm he worked with.

Alex Yang, a fourth-year business student, said he regrets working with Kognitive Marketing, the company that organized Can’t Wait to Party 2, a fundraising event between York, U of T and Ryerson.

According to Yang, Kognitive sold tickets near George the hotdog vendor last Wednesday and Thursday under the names of other student groups. The student groups were supposed to be the only ones selling tickets.

“Kognitive Marketing knows student groups sometimes don’t have enough funding and they say they try to help out,” said Yang. “But they sold tickets themselves (on campus). They cut into our sales.”

However, Kobi Gulersen, a partner at Kognitive, said a promotions team was by George’s last week, but it did not sell tickets to the event.

“So when someone walked up to our booth, we said you could buy from this, this and this (group),” he said. “We wanted to help promote the event to everyone.”

Promoters used megaphones and handed out promotional materials to build “hype” and awareness for the event, he said.

Yang said Rye-D-Boat was at that location last Wednesday afternoon before 3 p.m. selling tickets.

He was called after 3 p.m. by Carolyn Van, the Ryerson representative of Kognitive Marketing, asking to use the Rye-D-Boat name at the booth to sell tickets.

According to Yang, Van said his group would get $1 for each ticket sold. That was lower than what Rye-D-Boat earns on their own.

“Carolyn told me, either I went through with them using our name or she could easily just find another student group to ask,” said Yang.

Yang said he agreed and signed the contract. A booth was set up in their name that day. According to Yang, he changed the contract after giving it more thought.

“They’re piggy-backing our name just to sell tickets. It’s not ethical,” Yang said. “It was the greed card.”

But Van said the booth did not sell tickets and that she received a phone call the next morning from the Dragonboat team saying sales had skyrocketed.

An executive member of AIESEC (Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales), a Ryerson student group that connects students with international internships, said individuals were selling tickets to the event on campus.

“There were individuals working closer with Kognitive Marketing selling tickets. They were taking money for themselves instead of taking money for student groups,” said Derek Timms, Ryerson’s AIESEC director of finance.

He wouldn’t give details on their relation to Kognitive.

Nicole Luk, a second-year fashion student and treasurer for her course union, said she heard Kognitive set up a booth by the Hub cafeteria on Thursday, also under the name of the Fashion Communications Course Union.

She said she was asked by Kognitive Marketing if they could use the Fashion Communications Course Union name and that they had two employees who could sell tickets.

However, no contract was ever signed.

“At the beginning when she first approached us about the new concept, I asked her about having a tracking system to show how many tickets she sold compared to how many tickets we got out of it. But we never met up and so no contract was signed,” said Luk.

The Fashion Communications Course Union sold all 50 tickets it bought from Kognitive and kept $5 per $12 ticket while Kognitive got the rest, Luk said.

Van, however, said the Fashion Communications Course Union bought more tickets on Thursday and people from the course union worked at the booth.

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