In the previous three weeks Airbnb have chosen to invade the mailboxes of Jersey City voters. They have received seven pieces of direct mail so far, one arriving every two or three days. If, as I do, you find the frequency and intent imposing then read on because there is something you can do about it.
When the first piece arrived I immediately noted the mark of the Allied Printing Trades Council and the number 45. This indicated it was printed at a union shop, Westerleigh Enterprise in South Plainfield, NJ. This seemed at odds with the rabid anti-union stance of Airbnb’s base, but not much of a clue as to where it might be originating from.
I was determined to find out.
After the first mailer arrived the Keep Our Homes website, Twitter and Facebook accounts went live. All used the exact same picture as the first mailer. The website yielded nothing, the Facebook was pretty dead but the Twitter account was a goldmine.
At the time I first looked @keepourhomesjc only had two followers. The second was the insufferable Liz Debold Fusco, this made sense because she is Airbnb’s North East press secretary and, as I now know, the head of Keep Our Homes.
The very first follower was a woman name Kathrina V Abrot, a resident of Los Angeles. I then went to the Keep Our Homes Facebook page, which at the time had only been liked by two people. Unfortunately you can no longer see who has liked the page from the page itself, but by going to Kathrina’s personal facebook page and viewing her likes I could see she was indeed one of the two likers.
Kathrina’s linkedin account indicates she currently works for a company called The Strategy Group.
From the resume of a previous production employee at the strategy group.
“…worked as a production assistant for The Strategy Group, a national political consulting firm. Executed direct mail plans for more than fifteen campaigns by managing the production process with a network of designers, printers and mailing houses.”
Kathrina’s Linkedin also notes an interesting previous job.
I closely watched the list of twitter followers grow. The 9th follower was a woman named Dannielle Cendejas. She and Liz Debold Fusco had both followed each other prior to Keep Our Homes going live. Danielle is senior vice president of The Strategy Group, Los Angeles. Here she is being interviewed about the company in E – a magazine for female executives.
A few days later Douglas Herman also followed the account. “Douglas Herman is a veteran political strategist, running The Strategy Group’s West Coast office, based in Los Angeles.”
“Doug was a lead mail strategist for Obama for America in the 2008 and 2012 campaigns.”
The reason the mailers are union printed is because all of these people are democratic operatives.
I don’t think there’s any question about The Strategy Group being the company behind the Direct Mail. Additionally the website and social media accounts were clearly set up by Kathrina Abrot and handed over to Liz Debold Fusco as a branded turnkey vehicle for the campaign.
What you can do about it.
You can call and complain about the unwarranted amount of direct mail.
Dannielle Cendejas – 626 535 0710
Kathrina Abrot – 213 448 6646
And/or do as I am doing.
Cover the address, taking care to cover the barcode, add a stamp and send it right back to these mass mailing bastards –
The Strategy Group
234 E Colorado Blvd., Suite 210
Pasadena, CA 91101