Traveling Sales Crews
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Public Record
WayBack Archives
Series I
1964 THROUGH 1987

Traveling Sales Crews Home Page
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Articles Sorted In Asending Order By Date


October 10, 1964,
Detroit News, Max E. Simon. “All Us Poor Boys—A Line For Suckers.” Consumer warning against magazine sales crew fraud.

August 12, 1966,
The Detroit News, Joseph D. Wingfield. “Reporter ‘Joins’ Magazine Band, Sees School Pitch.” Describes fraudulent magazine sales pitch and stranding of sales people.

August 22, 1970,
Citizen Journal, Columbus, Ohio, Mike Larz. “Magazine Sellers Abandoned.” Alleges abuses to young sales people.

August 22, 1970,
The Washington Post, Richard M. Cohen. “Life Is Dreary on Sales Crew.” Alleges abuses to sales people.

September 15, 1973,
Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colorado, Kathy Gasliner. “Glamor Job Goes Sour; 2 Women Stranded.”

September 23, 1973,
The Denver Post, Jay Whearley. “Mecca Pulling Out, Manager Tells DA.” Describes alleged abuses to sales people. Says Magazine Publishers Association guaranteed the Better Business Bureau it “would pay the way home for any recruited salesman who finds himself stranded.”

November 3, 1975,
The New York Times. Metropolitan Brief. Consumer Affairs Commissioner Elinor Guggenheim says to be wary of door-to-door magazine sales crews.

March 23, 1976,
no newspaper name, Norfolk, Va., Anne Smith “Taken For a Ride, Then Given a Lift.” Alleges abuse to sales people.

July 5, 1976,
Dallas Times Herald, John Bloom. “Magazine Sales Abuses an Old Story Across U.S.” Good history of scam. Quotes FTC on 1971 Consent Orders with a number of agencies. Also quotes Cong. Fred Rooney, who headed the investigation, as well as Better Business Bureau, Travelers Aid, and Magazine Publishers Association.

November 14, 1977,
Christian Science Monitor, Gary Thatcher. “Pitchmen on Telephone Lure Unwary Consumers.” Article details 1971 FTC action against ‘Paid During Service’ (telephone sales) scam as well as door-to-door magazine sales scam.

June 1977,
The Nilson Report, Issue #165. “Organized Crime Uses Door-to-Door Sales Organizations for Credit Card Fraud.” Reports on unspecified government investigation into door-to-door magazines sales.

June 12, 1978,
Chicago Tribune, James Coates. “Magazine Hustle: A Numbers Game Trap” and “Who’s Who of Magazine Sales.” Interviews with a publisher, subscription agent, and others.

December 14, 1980,
Dallas Times Herald, Bob Rivard. “State Rekindles Probe of Magazine Empire—Series of Firms Links Edges, Door-to-Door Sales Crews.” Details subscription scam and past and present government action in Texas.

October 8, 1981,
Newark Star Ledger, New Jersey, Mary Jo Patterson. “Hungry Teen Serving 30 Days for $2 Cookie Theft at the Market.” Nineteen-year-old salesman from Flint, Michigan not fed by crew manager for three days while selling magazines in New Jersey.

October 9, 1981,
Newark Star Ledger, New Jersey, Mary Jo Patterson. “Shortening of the Sentence for a Cookie Thief.”

October 10, 1981,
Newark Star Ledger, New Jersey, Mary Jo Patterson. “Cookie Thief Touched by Love Leaves Jail for Home.”

October 17, 1981,
The Tennessean, Nashville, Tenn. “Seven Arrested in Magazine Sales Push, Magazine Sellers to Leave Sunday.”

October 28, 1981,
Newark Star Ledger, New Jersey, Frederick W. Byrd, “Newarkers Rescue ‘Salesman’ Left High and Dry”

November 18, 1981,
The Banner, Nashville, Tenn., “Couple Sues Teen Magazine Salesman, Firm.”

April 4, 1982,
Statesman-Journal, Salem, Oregon, Walt Penk. “Fear, ‘Brainwashing’ Selle Magazines.”

May 24, 1982,
Wisconsin State Journal, George Hesselberg. “Are Door-to-Door Sales Hard Knocks for Students?” Scam hits local college kids.

July 25, 1982,
Billings Gazette, Laurie Williams. “Rare Sales Post Eludes Newswoman.”

July 25, 1982,
Billings Gazette, Billings, Montana, Marj Charlier. “She’s Lucky; She’s Home. Roxanne’s Visions of Magazine Selling Success Become a Nightmare.”

October 10, 1982,
Detroit News, Susan Johnson. “The Mag Caper.”

April 7, 1983,
Kansas State Collegian, Ann Sanderson. “Magazine Vendors May Have Used Illegal Tactics.”

May 20, 1983,
The Buffalo Evening News, “Sales Crew Probed.”

June 5, 1983,
The Buffalo Evening News, Mike Beebe. “Parents Tag ‘Great’ Jobs Near Slavery.”

June 19, 1983,
The Buffalo Evening News, Mike Beebe. “Williamsville Woman Joins Lawsuit Against Magazine Sales Firms.” Article describes Civil RICO lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, New York City, against 12 magazine publishers and eight subscription agents on behalf of five sales people.

July 18, 1983,
The Gallagher Report: A Confidential Letter to Marketing, Sales, Advertising and Media Executives, Bernard Gallagher. “Magazine Publishers in Hot Water Over Subscription Sales.” Describes Civil RICO lawsuit..

July 25, 1983,
Advertising Age, New York City, Stuart J. Ellioitt. “Magazines Hit in Slavery Suit.”

August 21, 1982,
The Maryland/Delaware State News, Chris Nolan. “Job Takes Girl Through Ringer.”

August 21, 1983,
The San Diego Union, Mark Sauer. “Sales and Slavery—Setting Sally Free.”

August 24, 1983,
The Maryland/Delaware State News, Chris Nolan. “More Alleged Abuses by Magazine Sales Firms Are Reported.”

Sepote ber 25, 1983,
Chicago Sun-Times, Jim Ritter. “Fed-up Magazine Crewmen Go to Court.” Civil RICO lawsuit. Quotes BBB, FTC, Gallagher Report, others.

October 1983,
News Chief, Winter Haven, Florida, Harvey Dickson. “Missing Kids Turn Up in Magazine Sales Crews.”

October 1983,
Folio Magazine. “Suit Claims Publishers Knew of Subscription Agency Abuse of Sellers.” Civil RICO lawsuit.

October 7, 1984,
Houston Chronicle, Rebecca Trounson. “Some Magazine Sellers Say They Are Being Exploited.”

Dece,ber 5. 1984,
The Arizona Republic, Tom Bauer. “Hopes Fade Quickly as Youths Work to Sell Magazines.”

January 8, 1984,
The Miami Herald, Wes Smith. “Magazine Sales Firm Criticized, Mind-Control Methods Alleged.” Also: “Sales Firm Complaints Stack Up—Magazine Business Offers Lure of Road, Workers Say.”

December 26, 1984,
The Oregonian, Salem, Oregon, Rick Bella. “Hard Sell.”

January 8, 1984,
The Times Picayune/States Item, New Orleans, Louisiana, Patricia Behre. “Crews Lure Magazine Salesman, Harahan Mom Says.”

March 1984,
Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, Wisconsin, George Hesselberg. Annual scam update.

May 12, 1984,
Gresham Outlook, Gresham, Oregon, Tom Fluharty. “Gresham Youth Survives ‘Job’ Ordeal.”

September 17, 1984,
The Wall Street Journal, Anne MacKay-Smith. Front page. Bad Trips: Some Youths Who Hit Road to Sell Magazines Come Back Embittered: A Question of Responsibility.”

May 19, 1984,
The Journal, Lorain, Ohio, Matt Smith. “Teen Sales Crews—A Warning to Parents.”

May 21, 1984,
National On-Campus Report. “Salesmen Also Victims in Subscription Scams.”

June 17, 1984,
Morning Call, Reading, Pennsylvania, Ron Devlin. “Magazine Sales Enmesh Youths in Murky World.”

February 24, 1985,
The Oregonian, Rolla J. Cruck. “IRS Seeks Taxes From Non-existent Pay—Woman Claims Magazine Solicitors Kept Her as ‘Slave.’

February 22, 1985,
The Clarion, Portland, Oregon, Gail Tofflemire. “Job Offers May be Traps.”

May 6, 1985,
St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida, Elizabeth Whitney. “Publishers Must Act to Stop Abuses of Young Work Crews.”

June 8, 1985,
Valley News, White River Junction, New Hampshire, Rich Barlow. “Pitching Subscriptions.”

June 18, 1985,
Education Daily, Washington D.C. “Congressman, Watchdog Group Target Sales Companies That Lure Kids.”

August 12, 1985,
Knoxville Business Weekly, Knoxville, Tennessee, Carl Warner. “Investigator Uncovers Business Scam.”

October 20-30, 1985,
Greensboro News and Record, Greensboro, N.C. Jerry Bledose. “High Paying Travel Becomes Bad Trip for Young Workers.”

November 8, 1985,
The Cincinnati Post, Byron P. White and Terry Boschert. “Door-to-Door Sales Job Quickly Lost its Luster.”

November 17, 1985,
The Arlington Daily News, Arlington, Texas, Nancy Visser, “Sales Jobs Trap Young Adults, Attorney Says Hy-Pro Can’t Control Distributors.”

November 20-21, 1985,
Citizen Journal, Arlington, Texas, Terin Miller. “Sales Company Probed by Law Agencies.”

November 24, 1985,
The Sunday courier and Press, Evanville, Indiana, Bill Greer “Dad Takes ‘Brainwashed’ Daughter from Roving Sales Crew.”

November 24, 1985,
Citizen Journal, Arlington, Texas, Terin Miller. “Attorney General Joins Sales Probe.”

November 1985,
Greensboro News and Record, Greensboro, North Carolina, Jerry Bledsoe. “Uncovering Horror Stores.”

December 1, 1985,
The Arlington Daily News, Arlington, Texas, Nancy Visser. “Man Escapes Distributor Second Time.”

December 3, 1985,
The Arlington Daily News, Arlington, Texas, Editorial. “Young People Don’t Believe All You Read.”

December 6, 1985,
The Arlington Daily News, Arlington, Texas, Nancy Visser. “Couple Finds Missing Son, Return Awaited.”

December 11, 1985,
The Arlington Daly News, Arlington, Texas, Nancy Visser. “Youth Returns Home From Sales Nightmare.” And “Door-to-Door Slavery Alleged.”

December 17, 1985,
The Globe, St. Petersburg, Florida. “Thousands of American Kids Are Lured Into Slave Labor.”

December 17, 1985,
The Banner, Nashville, Tennessee. “Brentwood Man Sought in Card Fraud.” Case involves owner of sales company.

December 20, 1985,
The Banner, Nashville, Tennessee, Charlie Appleton. “Brentwood Man Blames Arrest on Ex-Employee.”

January 12, 1986,
Pensacola News Journal, Jeff Newell. “Magazine Publishers Not Ready to Close Door on Traveling Crews.”

January 14, 1986,
Pensacola News Journal, Jeff Newell. “Owner Thinks Press Misrepresents Life of Traveling Crews.”

January 15, 1986,
Pensacola News Journal, Jeff Newell. “Clearinghouse Sought for Information on Sales Crews.” And “Public Awareness Important in Halting Abusive Labor Practices.”

April 3, 1986,
The Banner, Nashville, Tennessee, Charlie Appleton. “Brentwood Man Fined in Fraud Try.”

April, 1986,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania “Corvette May Link Slayings.” Owner of magazine sales crew shoots manager of sales crew.

May 25, 1986,
The Times, Gainesville, Georgia, Suzanne Wood. “The Pitch: Hook, Line and Sinker.”

May 25, 1986,
The Times, Gainesville, Georgia, Suzanne Wood. “Salesmanship or Slavery?”

May 25, 1986,
The Times, Gainesville, Georgia. Diary: The Life of a Magazine Salesman, Fast Talk, Hard Sell.”

June 18, 1986,
The Daily News, Iron Mountain, Michigan, Blaine Hyska. “Wanted Ad Warning Issued.”

June 21, 1986,
The Evening Gazette, Worcester, Mass. “Three Young Salesmen Are Sold a Bill of Goods.”

September 6, 1986,
Greensboro News and Record, Hotline. “Concerned About Teens.”

October 29, 1986,
The Cincinnati Post, Cincinnati, Ohio, Sarah Sturmon. “Firm’s ‘Captive’ Salespeole Saw Excitement Turn to Fear.”

October 29, 1986,
The Cincinnati Post, Sarah Sturmon and Sharon Moloney. “Glendale Couple Bought Tears, Not Sales Pitch.”

December 1986,
San Jose Mercury News, Dan Nakaso. “Soap Pushers Complain of Slippery Bosses, Traveling Firm Coerced Sellers, Ex-Workers Say.,”

April 7, 1987,
The Gallagher Report, Bernard Gallagher, New York City. “Magazine Publishers Feel Heat to Clean Up Act

April 7, 1987,
Associated Press and United Press International. Report on congressional hearing, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, U.S. Senate, William V. Roth (D) Delaware.

April 11, 1987,
Citizens’ Voice Correspondent, Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, Karen Shonk. “Young Woman Gets a Scare After Lure of Excitement.”

April 16, 1987,
The Telegraph, Nashua, New Hampshire, Gene Trainor. “When door-to-door salesmen sell more line than products.”

April 16, 1987,
Citizens Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Pat Trosky. “Parent Watch Warns of Youth Scam Operations.”


October 17, 1978,
The Today Show, NBC-TV, New York City, Betty Furness/Jane Pauley. Interview with Joe Edge of Mecca Enterprises, Parents, kids complained of broken legs, no pay, abandonment.

April 1982,
WVTM-TV local news, Columbus, Georgia, Mark McGee. Four part series on physical abuse and sexual harassment of young sales people.

May 1983,
WTEN-TV Albany Action News, Albany, New York, Marci Elliot. Interview with parent of missing youth missing for several months, finally located on magazine sales crew.

May 1983,
KIRO-TV, Seattle, WA, Bill Clark. “Motel rooms destroyed at The Golden Lion.”

July 4 and 5, 1983,
CNN, New York, Pat Dolan. “Magazine Publishing Scandal.” Reporter interviewed two plaintiffs in Civil RICO lawsuit filed in federal court against publishers and subscription agents in New York City on 6/23/83.

October 20 and 21, 1983,
KLAS-TV News, Las Vegas, Nevada, Mark Fierro. Report on alleged abuses to young sales people with interviews of local law enforcement. Also Consumer Affairs bulletin.

October 27, 1983,
The Today Show, New York City, Bryant Gumbel. Special Segment “Protecting the Kids.” Four youths described beatings, starvation, no pay, and sickness.

Octoer 27, 1983,
CNN, New York, Pat Dolan. News segment entitled “Kidnapped Kids.” Five young salespeople leave a sales crew in New Jersey on camera under protection of local police.

July 5, 1984,
Late Night America with Dennis Wholey, PBS, Detroit Michigan. Live call-in with former sales woman.

November 5, 1985,
ABC World News Tonight, Peter Jennings.” Report on slavery and prostitution in sales scam as background for congressional hearing November 6, 1985, sponsored by Rep. Ron Wyden (D) Oregon before Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Constitutional Issues.

November 8, 1985,
WISH_TV (CBS affiliate) Mark Voightmann, Evening News., Fourteen youths leave sales crew with help of local police in Indianapolis, Indiana.

June 10, 1986,
Nineteen Eighty-Six, NBC network magazine show, Connie Chung and Roger Mudd, “Sell or Else.” First segment of first show.

June (days?)1986
WCVB-TV Needham, Mass. (ABC affiliate) Week-long series of investigative news pieces, one follow-up and a 30 minute special. Reports included salves “slavery,” physical and sexual abuse, missing teenager, interview with law enforcement officials.

April 13, 1987,
The Today Show, NBC-TV, Bryant Gumbel. Interview with Robert Abrams, New York State Attorney General and Joe Edge, owner of Mecca Enterprises, Hy-Pro, and others.

October 22, 1987,
Evening News, (call letters?) (ABC Affiliate) Salt Lake City, Utah, Mike Watkiss. Local complaints re: Hy-Pro Chemical Co.

November 20, 1987,
Evening News, (call letters?) (carried by ABC affiliate and NBC affiliate), Louisville, Kentucky. Local police arrest Gulf Coast Circulation management for theft by deception, two salespeople released.

DMPG Acquired Data:
Hy-Pro Chemical Co., Gulf Coast Circulation management, Joe Edge, Mecca Enterprises, slavery, Ron Wyden, Joe Edge of Mecca Enterprises, Magazine Publishers Association, selling magazines, door to door sales crew, traveling sales crews, traveling magazine sales crew, direct sales, dangerous teen job, traveling sales recruitment, slave labor, sweatshops, traveling salesmen, traveling magazine sales crew, crimes against teens, crimes against youth, selling magazines door to door, abused children, abused teens, exploited teens, teen labor, silent killer of teens and young adults, national tragedy

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