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Signatures with company name

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Signatures with company name

I am a bit concerned that a few Travel Agents are trolling the forums for clients. I have seen that one of the TAs posters openingly admit to this on a different forum. They not only sign their name, but include their company name in every post. That seems to be advertising and against forum policy. There also seems to be subtle conversion to clients by suggesting a different tour to what the poster is inquiring or reminding us in one form or another that they are a TA. Is this ok?

Newquay, United...
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for Newquay, Cornwall
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1. Re: Signatures with company name

Hi I would sugest you hit the report button and let T/A decide whether to remove the post.

Torremolinos, Spain
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2. Re: Signatures with company name

Agree with Lilly, hit the report button for advertising reason, then leave the rest to TA :D


Phoenix, Arizona
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3. Re: Signatures with company name

Hello luangwablondes,

Thanks for the question. Hopefully I can clarify our policy on this matter.

The latest revision of our forum posting guidelines may be found here:


This is the most relevant section to the issue at hand: "There are times when business representatives may want to join a conversation that is NOT directly related to their business. In these cases, we allow, but do not require, you to mention your affiliation with a specific business. Business representatives may NOT use this as an opportunity to solicit new clients, provide contact information, or post commercial links."

So to answer your specific question, yes, travel agents and other business representatives are allowed to sign their posts with their names and the names of their businesses. We do not consider that to constitute solicitation.

What is not allowed, however, is signing posts with commercial contact information, such as an email address, website URL or telephone number, as explained further in this section:

"We would never walk into your home and start posting ads for our web site, so don’t do that to our community and us. Please refrain from posting commercial links and commercial or personal contact information for your business unless it is directly requested. Please do not proactively volunteer it. We encourage you to include information about your business in the "About Me" section of your profile page so that members can easily find more information about you or your business."

As always, if you ever find any posts whose content seems to contain solicitation, please free to bring them to the attention of our moderators, who will investigate them and remove them if they are found to be in violation of our guidelines.

I hope that clears things up. Please let me know if you have any further questions about this.

Best regards,


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4. Re: Signatures with company name

Thank-you for the clarification. What prompted this was a TA posting to a thread in which it appeared they were indirectly converting the poster to a commercial tour they could possibly sell, instead of answering the posters questions. As there were better alternatives, that a TA should be aware of, it seemed like blantant advertising to me. Because at the same time, that many of the posters sign their name and company, it makes it even more blantant in my eyes.

There are TAs that participate on the forum and do not use a company signature. It seems to me, this would be the best direction to go.

Pretoria, South...
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5. Re: Signatures with company name

Hi guys,

Thanks, Mike, for your clarification of the issue.

I share Luangwablondes concerns about the blatant advertising that seems occur on some of the Southern African forums by several TA's who advertise certain very high-priced properties, mainly run by cartels. The same themes or patterns run through hundreds of threads posted by a small number of posters, all of them blatantly advertising their business and their "preferred properties".

One poster even appears to indicate that he lives in the region, and then often appears to living 10,000 miles away. Whether he simply gets around a lot, or is deliberately misleading members, is unknown.

To new posters, these posts seem ligitimate, and encourage them to contact the TA in a business capacity. In some cases, potential clients are referred to "competitors" in their locality, who appear in fact to be "colluders" in the same fold, who will simply refer them to the same property. Once again, this appears legitimate and even highly honourable to a gullible member.

I have my own very small and focused safari business, but I try be exceptionally careful not to solicit business and to promote my country as a destination, and provide relevant and useful information, often in a light-hearted way. But when I come into contact with some of these folk with very focused and horrendously self-serving agendas, I can sometimes get a bit irate.

It's a difficult issue to resolve. In one way, posting with the business name openly declares a commercial interest, and is thus "more transparent". On the other hand, it also openly declares the poster "open for business (particularly BIG money business)", and this amounts to self-promotion and solicitation.

Interesting issue.

6. Re: Signatures with company name

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Removed on: 28 October 2009, 05:53