David Rutkauskas: What are you thinking?
Just when UnhappyFranchisee.Com is actively scrutinizing the growth claims of Beautiful Brands International (BBI) and its CEO, David Rutkauskas, BBI appears to be making the most blatant and public misrepresentation of all.
After losing “partner” brands (ie franchise broker clients) SmallCakes & Ludger’s Bavarian Cakery, BBI posted this short announcement in the NEWS section of its website:
Affiliate Brands! Jan 30, 2013
Beautiful Brands International is proud to be representing all of our new Affiliate Brand members!
Suddenly, the dwindling Portfolio page of the BBI website swelled with dozens of logos supposedly of new BBI partner or affiliated brands.
When UnhappyFranchisee.Com began contacting the companies on the Beautiful Brands Portfolio page, we received stunned, and sometimes outraged, replies.
BBI displayed the ZOUP logo on its Portfolio page. Richard Simtob, President of ZOUP, wrote:
We have NO RELATIONSHIP with Beautiful brands. We will send a letter to have our logo removed
Richard Simtob President
BBI displayed the Squisito Pizza & Pasta logo on its Portfolio page. Michele N. DiMeo, President of Squisito Pizza, wrote:
I am sorry I have no idea who these people are or why they would use our logo?
I will contact our attorneys to investigate and find out why? We will contact them as well as they are not authorized to post our logo!
Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
Michele N. DiMeo
President, Squisito Franchise Enterprises
Bill Hyman, CEO of Tulsa-based KEO restaurant, wrote:
I had no idea it was on their page…. They have nothing to do with us… They do not represent us and they do not have our permission to use our logo
Kevin Shaw of the Coffee Beanery replied:
We do not have a broker relationship with them.
Thanks for the heads up.
17 of the 43 brands newly represented as BBI affiliates also appear on the FranSmart website as FranSmart clients. When we asked FranSmart CEO Dan Rowe whether Beautiful Brands also represented his clients, his answer was an unequivocal “NO”:
No, Fransmart is the worldwide marketing firm for all of the brands on our website.
We will be in touch with beautiful brands. Thanks. Dan
BBI Claims These Brands Are Their Affiliates. The Brands say “What’s BBI?”
Big Smoke Burger*
Fox & Fiddle*
Taco Taco Café*
Tackle Box restaurant*
Green Leaf’s salads**
Erbert & Gerbert’s*
Steak & Shake**
House of Bread**
KEO Asian Cuisine*
The Big Salad
Tropical Smoothie Café**
Rita’s Italian Ice*
Original Brooklyn Water Bagel
Relax the Back*
* Confirmed to have no current relationship with Beautiful Brands. Logos were used by BBI without authorization.
** We suspect they had no relationship with BBI. Their logos appeared but were removed from the BBI website.
Yesterday, UnhappyFranchisee.Com took screen shots of the Beautiful Brands Portfolio page and contacted a number of the franchise companies BBI is representing as their affiliates.
Not a single company said it had a relationship with Beautiful Brands International or David Rutkauskas.
Several said they had never heard of BBI, and were outraged at being misrepresented.
UnhappyFranchisee.Com has contacted David Rutkauskas to ask for an explanation or clarification.
As of yet, we have not received a reply.
Read more here: BEAUTIFUL BRANDS INTERNATIONAL (BBI): Behind the Hype
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Tags: David Rutkauskas, Beautiful Brands, Beautiful Brands International, BBI, BBI Partner Program, BBI affiliates, franchise, franchise scam, franchise scams, worst franchises, worst franchise, franchise lawsuits, franchise litigation, franchise fraud