Identity theft and why we switched our BBB (A+) dba to “Ad Ventures Design.”

Our official Washington-licensed company name is Ad Ventures Marketing, Inc. which was also our “dba” (doing business as)  for 20 years . . . until one day . . . about five years ago.  On that day we did  a quick check-in to BBB make sure our A+ rating was still intact.  What followed was an immediate change in our dba.

Typing in our usual “Ad Ventures Marketing” brought up another “Adventures Marketing” – same industry, same city.  Two little differences and one BIG difference from us:  Their “Adventures” was one word, ours was two.  We had “Inc.” They did not.  And the biggie:  They had an “F” rating, we had an A+.


Of course, it didn’t get by us that we could be confused as being the other guy.  And we know people often type in “Adventures” instead of “Ad Ventures” when searching us out.  As a result, they could easily stumble across the no-do-gooder, not the real Ad Ventures,  and we would be caught in a mistaken identity trap.  (No, we are not them!)  We did significant research and testing that day doing BBB and Google searches, etc., to confirm that the likely path people would take trying to locate us would lead them to the bottom-barrel culprits.

So who the heck is this other not-so-twin company named “Adventures Marketing,” “licensed” in Washington?  We looked up their business license in Washington State’s database and found that it belonged to a company that had closed doors in the late 1990’s.   So this “AdVentures Marketing” was actually an identity thief of a company out of business and also a big-time spammer which Google searches confirmed.

What prompted us to check into BBB to begin with?  Phone complaints from unhappy people who had done business with the spammer, mistakenly (and very irately) calling us to get their money back for email list services paid for but never delivered.

The identity hacker’s “adventuresmarketing” website eventually went down, and they, apparently, skiddaled from their fake Seattle office, never to be found again.   But that nasty F rating and the fake company name remained in BBB.

Rather than get in touch with BBB and try to explain that the real A+ “Ad Ventures Marketing, Inc.” might get confused with the F-rated fake Adventures  Marketing,” we decided to take matters in our own hands.  The potential consequences of not doing anything were serious.  So we changed our searchable DBA and dropped “Marketing” in favor of “Design,” The added bonus was “design” is a much higher-valued keyword for SEO purposes.  The new “Ad Ventures Design” DBA was born.

Now you can easily find us in BBB searching for “Ad Ventures Design” or “Adventures Design”, and  in Google page 1 for “Graphic Design Seattle” and “Branding Seattle” keywords.  Or, you can take the easy path and just email or call us now to find out that we are the real deal when it comes to an A+ marketing and design agency!

Karen Skeens  is Ad Ventures’ creative director/cyber visionary, since 2001.
Ad Ventures Marketing, Inc.
DBA:  Adventures Design
A+ BBB Rating




Karen Skeens

Karen Skeens

Cyber Visionary and Website Guru with many years of marketing & advertising industry experience selling, marketing, writing and designing.

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