Indy Weekly and the Bu$iness of Public Trust

Much to our dismay, when Indy Weekly began the nomination period for its 2018 awards, it came to our attention that Accounting had been dropped as a category. This came without any prior notice or explanation, and we only learned of it by our clients telling us that they couldn’t find our category in order to vote for us in the nomination process. 

The Indy Weekly awards are promoted by the magazine as a “people’s choice” awards for Durham businesses, and they utilize the popularity of these awards to sell advertisements in their magazine. They are not a non-profit and should not be criticized for selling ads, but by monetizing the public's trust in their awards they should have a duty to ensure the awards are consistent and fair year-to-year. The actions they took in completely removing our (and other) voting categories betrays the public trust and harms small businesses.

The consequence of Indy Weekly’s decision to remove our category means that our clients and potential clients will see that we have earned this award in the past, but not in the present. The implication for the vast majority of people will be that we lost our category, not that our category no longer exists. This is harmful to our reputation and it is very difficult for us to correct the perception –this is our best attempt!

Of more concern, the initial reason we were given from a Senior Account Executive as to why our category disappeared was because “we had to remove some categories who did not have a history of advertising with us.” Susan Harper, the publisher of the magazine, denied this is the reason and said that without removing categories each year, “the list of categories to vote on gets completely unmanageable”. You be the judge as to what rings truer.

While the Indy Weekly finally added Accounting back as a category very late in the voting process after we e-mailed them numerous times, we no longer feel we can trust this publication. As a result, we no longer support or compete for Indy Weekly awards.