The Cancer Slam

If, like me, cancer has impacted your life – either directly or via a loved one or relative then do please take a moment to view the video below and learn a little more about The Cancer Slam!

Cancer-Research-Cancer-Slam-by-David-Wilson2The Cancer Slam is a dance that everyone will come to associate with Race for Life, an ultimate show of defiance which is simple to learn and fun to do. It consists of 10 dance moves that have all been named to help people remember the routine. This dance will form part of the warm-up for all Race for Life events this summer. The music video is above and there is a tutorial available online for those of you who would like to learn the moves.

To be part of the The Cancer Slam craze and to help kick cancer’s butt, enter Race for Life today: http://po.st/KEriN9. There are over 230 events across the UK, so you can be pretty sure there is one near you soon, the more people who participate the better chance we have of making the 2013 Race for Life cancer’s worst nightmare.

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Adbrite unlikely to pay “unsecured creditors”

I noticed the following image being passed around twitter recently and considered its content important to other former adbrite publishers like myself who have lost money.

adbrite_notice

The notice reads.

Notice to Adbrite Unsecured Creditors.

On January 23, the secured lenders to Adbrite foreclosed on all of the assets of AdBrite. By law, until the proceeds from the sale of assets exceed the amounts due to the secured lenders, no funds will be available to pay unsecured claims. At this point, Adbrite does not expect any funds will be available for unsecured claims. Adbrite will retain a copy of your unsecured claim and will notify you if any payment is anticipated.

Regards,
Adbrite.

I think publishers can take it as said they will not received payouts and I will not receive compensation for my bounced cheque.

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Adbrite continues to BILL advertisers but fails to PAY publishers

adbriteSince my latest cheque from adbrite bounced and they departed the industry leaving nothing but an Error 404 on their website I have been monitoring twitter for people who have lost out to adbrite. A number of advertisers have contacted me stating that the failed company is still trying to take money from their cards and are unable to cancel the service since the site is down and no one responds to their support queries. Although no one else has reported their latest cheque from adbrite bouncing several publishers have contacted me to relate the fact they have not received their payouts since December – and some are owed several thousand pounds in unpaid earnings. Again any attempts to contact adbrite for the last two months have gone unheeded.

I have attempted to contact adbrite for an explanation but have received no response. Many are calling their means of exiting the business  bad practice at least and fraudulent at most.  The fact they closed the site down so abruptly on the 1st February 2013 and left both advertisers and publishers in the dark regarding the status of their accounts is only testament to the depth of their financial problems. It is clear to me they have no money to pay their publishers – so it begs the question – where, exactly, did that investment from Sequoia Capital go? I am sure the founders of adbrite never found themselves out-of-pocket from the company’s failure. Unlike their publishers who face losing unpaid earnings to the tune of several thousand pounds or, in my case, facing bank charges for their bounced cheques.

Shameful adbrite, truly shameful.

 

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Final Cheque from Adbrite Bounces

Image representing AdBrite as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I have used adbrite occasionally in order to monetize some of my websites. Up until recently they have been OK. Late last year a cheque did not arrive and I reported it to adbrite who stated the cheque would be stopped and a new one issued in the following payment cycle. I waited patiently as I had never had any negative experiences before. Two months later I had received no word from adbrite regarding this matter so contacted them again and, at length, they replied. This occurred twice but, finally, I received notice the cheque had been stopped and my payment reissued.

I received my payment late December and banked it straight away after Christmas. It normally takes around a month to clear. I was expecting it to clear this week.

I then received the following correspondence through from adbrite via email.

Dear adBrite Advertiser,

Over the last few weeks, adBrite and its management have been evaluating the go-forward plan for the business. Given market conditions and certain financial liabilities, in working with our lenders, we have decided to cease operations on Feb 1, 2013.

This is a difficult decision for all of us at adBrite. However, after much deliberation this seems to be the best course of action despite the impact it will have on all the employees, clients and partners who helped build this business. There will be a team in place as needed to assist with winding down your campaign, and final reporting and invoicing.

Thank you for being part of the adBrite community.

The adBrite Team

I began to feel a little concerned. My cheque had not cleared and I had spotted one or two people complaining on twitter they had not received their most recent payment and customer services at adbrite were no longer responding.

adbrite-bounced-check

Adbrite Cheque Unpaid & subsequent fee to myself

Today I logged onto my digital banking account to discover my December cheque from adbrite had bounced and caused me to receive an additional €25 in bank charges. I have emailed adbrite explaining the situation to them but given their earlier announcement do not expect them to honour their agreement – so am expecting no response. There is no telephone number on their website either. No surprise there!

Hardeep-Bindra-285x285

Adbrite CEO Hardeep Bindra

AllThingsD reports the company has 26 employees who will be affected and, apparently, adBrite are in the process of selling off their assets. The article also states that the reason adBrite will be shut down is simply that an attempt to find a buyer was unproductive. According to CrunchBase AdBrite has raised a reported $40 million since 2004, much of it from Sequoia Capital. It was best known for many years as the creation of Philip Kaplan, who was well known during Web 1.0 boom for his FuckedCompany site. For many years the company described itself as the “largest independent ad exchange, rivaling Google and Yahoo.” Given my bounced cheque I would have thought the company had financial problems in recent times – as there no longer seems as much revenue to be paid in advertising of this kind. CEO Hardeep Bindra recently stated in an interview, Bindra says he had been trying to sell off the entire company (which is apparently what he was hired to do), but sales talks “unfortunately fell through a couple weeks ago.”

All in all, and given the situation, I would have rather not received any cheque at all, would have preferred adbrite to be honest about their financial situation and then, at least, I would not have had to pay €25 for the privilege of having a cheque from them bounce. Much better to not receive money than actual to end up losing more money because of dishonest dealings. As it turns out the total cost to myself was nearer €40 because I was also charge €15 for the presentation of the cheque in the first place! In this climate this is money I can ill afford to lose.

Update 1 February 2013: All attempts to contact Adbrite proved fruitless. Their website now shows an error 404 which effectively means they have gone I am afraid. I believe this means that any publisher partners with adbrite will NOT receive their final payouts. Let me know if, by some miracle, you do receive a payment! My loss is not as great as some however the bank charges I incurred as a result of their failure irks me considerably. I do feel for the staff who have lost their jobs. Always a shame when a business goes down – especially like this leaving so many out of pocket.

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What do you take in your purse for a night out on the town?


nighttime-bagI am one of those ladies who always like to be prepared when she ventures out for the night to a bar or club. Me and the girls emptied out our purses the other night to compare notes and, in doing so, we decided it would be really interesting to conduct an online survey of what girls (or guys if they wish to take part) consider to be essential items for a night out. A night out on the town deserves a glam bag. Most of us try to make sure you don’t pack everything including the kitchen sink into it – just have the bare necessities ready while you shine and sparkle through the evening

First off here were the contents of our night out purses.

1. Driver’s license – Bit of a no brainer largely because its your number one source of identity. It’s also important to have if you have to drive yourself home or you’ve become the designated driver.

2. Mobile Phone: Safety first girls! Always carry a mobile phone wherever you go on a night. Plus these are often great for taking photos of your night out for a keepsake or future blackmail.

3. Lipstick: Every girl in our group had at least one lipstick in their essential kit. Necessary for those touch up moments!

4. Emergency Touch Up Kit – Generally comprised of a little kit of powder foundation & eyeshadow . Although one of our group had the equivalent of her entire make up kit in her bag. A mirror is always handy too.

5. Washlets (Wet Wipes): Taking some wet wipes on a night out is a good idea when you consider the state of some night club facilities by the end of the night. Very useful! You can get them in a handy pocket size kit so they don’t bulk up your purse. Most of us were inspired to include these by the latest Clean Campaign from Andrex.

6. Plasters – Ever gone out in a brand new pair of shoes without them? If you´re intelligent you don’t do it twice! Great for sticking over a rubbed heal.

7. Folding Brush: Great for those winter nights on the town when its a bit breezy!

8. Chewing Gum: Cleans teeth and freshens breath! A must have in every girls or guys night out kit in my view…

9. Female Protection: This one goes without saying. Be aware. Be safe.

10. Tissues: Great item for smudged lipstick or tears. Many nights out usually involve coming across someone leaking from the eyes!

So, that was the summation of our essential kits, whats yours?

Carolina Herrera’s 212 VIP – Are you on the list?

212Ever been turned down an entrance into an exclusive party of night club? Its humiliating – more so when those you are with or your worst manage to get through the door! When you are the one who gets in its wonderful – which is what this lately competition from Carolina Herrera’s 212 VIP is all about.

This is your party!

Who’s invited?
Who will stay at the door?

Make your own guest list to win a party in NYC and become the VIP!

Carolina Herrera’s 212 VIP is offering you the chance to make your own guest list, win a party in NYC and become a VIP. A fabulous prize for taking part in 212 VIP’s fun and interactive competition.

All you have to do is head over to the site after watching the video above and following the link, watch the episodes of the VIPs trying to impress you, pick 4 of your favourites and spread the word. It’s that simple!

Great Portfolios Can Certainly Get Good Modeling Jobs

A Good Portfolio Carries A Lot of Weight

It is the modeling agencies that find suitable jobs model aspirants with them are capable of taking up. That is the reason people who want to become models should make the right kind of efforts to choose an efficient modeling agency. Once you make up your mind to take up the modeling career, you must get a good portfolio made.

Doing Self-Analysis Is The First Step

But, before you begin the process, you must do an honest self-analysis and find out the unique traits of your personality that may make you into a good model. You should focus on these qualities and skills and try to improve them. If you have certain weak points that may decelerate your progress as a model, you should try to eliminate them or improve your abilities in those areas also. Consistent work with focus will certainly pay rich dividends.

Your Portfolio Should Show The Agencies The Right ‘You’

Portfolios should be excellent because that is what agencies look for getting jobs model aspirants wish to have. If you try to make your portfolio on your own, you may find the task a little daunting. You may try as hard as you can for making your portfolio but you may not be able to give a professional touch to it. So, the output may not be as good as you desire it to be. There is some advice for you. There are companies like UK Models that can take you along the right path not only to get a great portfolio made but to guide you in the process of choosing a good modeling agency also.

The USP of Companies Like UK Models

The reason companies like UK Models are able to make brilliant portfolios for those who register with them is that they have excellent professionals with them. Professionals and experts like highly experienced fashion photographers and stylists of these companies involve themselves fully during the process of making portfolios.

So, if you make the right decision of registering with companies like UK Models, the greatest benefit you get is that you can have a great portfolio. Of course, you do not get it free of cost. You may have to pay reasonable charges. But, for registering with companies like UK Models, there is no necessity for any payment because these companies do not charge anything for signing up or registration.

Companies like UK Models know the importance of portfolios and also how agencies rate portfolios for getting jobs model aspirants wish to land in. So, they are very much focused and committed to providing you with an excellent portfolio. The fashion stylists with these companies will educate you as to how to dress up, what not to wear, which accessories you should choose, etc. They will discuss with you to know the type of modeling jobs you wish to land in and give their  suggestions accordingly. Likewise, the photographers will discuss with you also and then suggest the right poses so that you can have impeccable and the most impressive photographs on your portfolio.

Invest Time In Finding A Good Modeling Agency

You should then choose the right modeling agency for which you can take the help of companies like UK Models. You should do your own research also. Modeling agencies are very particular about the quality of portfolios for finding jobs model aspirants wish to take up. Since you have a professionally made and highly impressive portfolio with you, you can certainly get jobs you have been aiming at.

Amy Jackson is a journalist who writes for several Fashion Magazines.

American Apparel – A shopping experience extraordinaire

If you are looking for designer labels then you need to visit vente-privee.com. They are European innovator of online flash sales, having more than 25 years experience in selling exclusive fashion and lifestyle products and they have a truly unique way of selling online – these events being an exciting new way to shop.

vente-privee.com have more than 1,450 designer brands to give awesome heart-fluttering discounts of up to 70% for we fashionistas who love to shop. Like us they love fashion and adore anything that’s stylish but they dont just have clothing – they have everything from homeware to sports equipment, cars to holidays. They have it all!

You have to be a member but registration is free. Once you are signed up you will receive exclusive emails outlining the sales but, once received, you have to be real quick as they tend to sell out pretty fast! The system is very straightforward and secure. Make sure you view the above video for more information!

It truly is shopping experience extraordinaire :-

  • More than 1,450 must-have brands from a dizzying array of categories
  • Irresistible prices offering up to 70% off
  • Thrilling flash sales lasting only 3-5 days
  • Fabulously free registration

Steps to a sale extraordinaire

THE INVITATION EMAIL: Two days before a sale, an invitation email goes out to all members with a sneak-peek trailer of the brand’s offering. The excitement builds…

THE SALE: Lasting just 3-5 days, the sales begin at 7am GMT in the week (at 6am in the UK) and 9am GMT at weekends (at 8am in the UK).

PAYMENT: Payment security is fundamental to vente-privee.com. It is possible to make purchases by credit/debit card (Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard and American Express) and Paypal.

DELIVERY: Once the sale doors close, the brand sends its products to the vente-privee.com warehouses. Couriers then deliver the tens of thousands of parcels directly to members’ homes – which can be tracked via the ‘My delivery’ page.

RETURNS: If members are not happy with an item, it can be returned and a refund will be issued.

MEMBER RELATIONS SERVICE: A dedicated customer service team is ready to answer member questions via the ‘Help & Contact’ section of the website.

The Fine Art Of Swishing

As the festive season draws near, it begins. Invariably we are confronted with countless office Christmas parties, drinks after work, fancy masked balls and the question becomes unbearable and repeated as a litany: what can I possibly wear? The Christmas season is expensive as it is and if you find yourself cash-poor and outfit-dull, what can you do?

The answer, my friends, is that you can swish.

What is swishing?

The concept was dreamed up back in 2000 by Lucy Shea and her team at Futerra Sustainability Communications, an eco-friendly PR firm. The idea was to invent a social event that allowed everyone the thrill of a new outfit without any recourse to mass consumerism. Basically, swishing (which was so named to evoke the rustle of silk, the thrill of the chase) is a giant swapping party where everyone brings at least one unwanted item of clothing so they can exchange it for another item of equal value. So, if you turn up with a party outfit that looks good but now bores you senseless, you can exchange it for a more exciting prospect that has been nestling unseen in someone else’s wardrobe. And all for free!

Well, the price is right. How do I get involved?

There are plenty of opportunities to swish – charity shops often host evenings and often individuals run evenings for charity where you turn up, pay an entrance fee and swish to your heart’s content. These kind of events are easily googleable, but if you find there are none in your area, why not set up your own?

What we talk about when we talk about swishing

Throwing your own swishing party is a little more complicated then just inviting your friends over for a mass changing-room extravaganza. It’s important to make sure that if your friends have quite divergently sized bodies, that you stress the need to bring unwanted accessories, jewellery, hats and other items that don’t require a specific body type. There’s nothing worse than showing up at a swishing party only to find yourself sized out of a good time. Another way to get around this problem is to open up the invitation wide – encourage everyone to come: acquaintances, work colleagues, neighbours, friends-of-friends – when it comes to swishing, variety, mystery and spontaneity are the order of the day. Old ladies are goldmines and key, in this and most other matters.

 What are the rules?

The beauty of swishing is that it’s a very casual affair and the tone of whole evening, whether it’s elegance, olives and chit-chat or giggly booze-up, is up to you. The only really important thing is that you respect the notion of fair exchange. A grotty, pit-stained H&M glitter top is not going to bag you an Armani evening gown. However, perhaps the dress you never wear from H&M’s collaboration with Lanvin will net some more positive results.

 How do we evaluate the worth of an item?

It’s usually the host’s job to designate how items will be priced. Obviously a designer item will be worth more than a Primark smock but as everything is second-hand, it’s important to evaluate the condition of the garment and factor that into your final pricing decision. You can nominate someone who knows fashion and retail or you can decide yourself. Incidentally, the ‘completed listings’ search for similar items on eBay is an excellent barometer and has settled many a tense swishing situation. Once you’ve designated an item’s value, you give the swish-ee the equivalent amount of ‘credit’ to spend on other items. Anything that doesn’t get snapped up at the end of the night can be returned or donated to a charity shop. Everybody wins. Everybody gets a sparkly outfit. It’s also an excellent way of getting rid of unwanted Christmas presents. It makes you wonder why anybody would ever shop again. Swishing, my friends, Swishing.

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Rebecca Forsythe writes about charity shop tricks, voluntary working and ways to make a difference in a sparkly top from H&M.