I got contacted to be a brand ambassador

A week ago I posted a picture of me in the car on Instagram, where I announced that I found a grey hair. I got a message by someone called "Pierre Arden Ambassador Scout" (with 56 followers at the time of writing), wishing to collaborate. They told me to DM their main account.


I looked at both Instagram profiles. Both feature a bunch of fashionable and not-overweight dudes wearing watches. I figured, I never bothered before. Lemme at least see what they have to offer. So I messaged them. On a Sunday. At noon.

I got a reply back within minutes. All nicely typed out, saying I fit their brand—

Oh, hold on. apparently Stone Appeal is also going to try this out on me. Cool. Yep. Same deal. I got a message back immediately after responding (this one happened at like 2:45pm cos I started writing the message at about then). this one I got to watch real-time; they messaged me an entire paragraph in about four seconds. For these, I enter a code to save 100% off their products, but just pay shipping of $9 per piece. I suspect the jewellery they sell on their site is actually worth $5 or so, so they'd still be making money.

Well that was a fun diversion. Now, where was I? Oh yes.

So Pierre Arden (not to be confused with Pierre Cardin, an actual fashion brand) offers some nice-looking watches, but I've never heard of this company. I can't really tell if the watches are anything special, not by the pictures, and though the site shows testimonials from Forbes and GQ, I can't find an actual record of those reviews.

Oh, so Pierre Arden would offer 50% off their watches, which doesn't look generous enough given their brand awareness, but they'll also offer me 25% off (as if 50% is too much) and give me a 30% commission on anything they sell from my affiliate code. All for posting pictures of me with their watch.

The website scamion has a slew of complaints essentially ranging from "they are so cheap they aren't worth ÂŁ5!" to "and I never got my watch!" And it looks like all the complaints came from people who bought into the 50% offer.

After all this, I think I won't bother.

Anyway, let's move on to Stone Appeal!

<small>Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@thomasmowe">Thomas Mowe</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com">Unsplash</a></small>

Photo by Thomas Mowe on Unsplash

I think it's a good idea now to mention that

  1. I've been writing this post since like 2pm, and in the meantime I built a new web server, ate lunch, and installed a dual front/rear dash cam.
  2. Today I got three messages from people to DM another person, all with brand ambassadorship offers.
  3. All these sites are generic Shopify sites. So, basically, they're all red flags.

Stone Appeal's Instagram is pretty clever. They post 3x3 sets for enlarged images of nice looking stuff. I covered their pitch above, and that their site is a big, templated red flag. At least they're smart about it. The site doesn't have an "About Us" page, and they don't make testimonials from nonexistent reviews.

But I've already had a dubious cold-call with a deal today. So, thanks but no thanks.

Let's go take a look at the third one, Brute Impact!

They reached out while I was trying to stuff a USB cable inside the weather stripping of my car. I didn't know till I got back. Again it was a comment from a different account asking me to DM the main account. I didn't bother. I went straight to their Shopify site.

At least this one has a little more work done, with a slightly snapper design and even blog posts! (As of this writing, it looks like they only wrote sparingly from August, 2019 to June, 2020.)

A perusal of reviews on Trustpilot shows that the same scam is running strong even on their site. They tried to run a good-review campaign on November 4th, 2020 to help boost their ratings, but over half of the reviews are negative. Removing the November 4th campaign has them at 87% negative. That's 13 out of 15 reviews under three stars. Even the 3-star review wasn't very glowing.

I'm so glad me in my unkempt, hasn't-been-cut-in-five-months hair, gas station shades, blue American Apparel hoodie (which i got when they were closing)—in a damn Ford Focus—has garnered so much attention that scouts think I'm ripe to be their brand ambassador. But even if I was the type, I doubt I'd wanna affiliate with bad track records.


I'll be adding other brands that use these shady tactics as I find them.

  • Vivienne Dufort: to be fair, they didn't contact me; I contacted them first. The difference in this one is that—as the company's merchandise targets exclusively women—I kept getting called "dear".
  • Coldest Jewelry: looks like an account associated with Stone Appeal changed the company they're peeling for, according to the old DMs. I imagine it would be the same deal.

Published: 01/24/2021 11:53pm


I'm just here for spacing.