Local ad specialist WebVisible has ceased operations and will transfer assets to its lender, Silicon Valley Bank, according to a note from CEO Ronald Burr to the company's staff.
TechCrunch obtained the missive, sent by Burr to remaining employees on Tuesday. In it, he apologizes for the abrupt bad news and states the company couldn't meet its debt obligations despite "all our efforts to recover throughout this past year."
"This happened quite suddenly, and the timing could not be more unfortunate…As of today there are no employees left at WebVisible, including myself and therefore there is no one to handle anything for you," he wrote. "I can't imagine a worse scenario for shutting a company down and laying everyone off, the only concession I was able to get from the bank was to wait until after Christmas."
No one at WebVisible's main phone number picked up when ClickZ called. The firm has not updated its blog since October 17, and its Twitter and Facebook accounts have also been silent since mid-October.
WebVisible had worked with affiliate partners who push its local marketing services, including search ads, Internet Yellow Pages, Web presence management, and social media advertising. It has faced many complaints from small- to mid-sized business owners angered by the company's sales tactics and often weak results for steep fees. Those fees could fall between $500 and $5,000 a month.
Noted one business owner on the independent website ConsumerAffairs.com, "They do not respond to any of our requests, we have had 3 different account managers in just 4 months, they have failed to deliver our leads, they did actually gave us a credit for their mistakes, but insisted we stay with them for a year to get our credit. The great salesperson who sold us this is nowhere to be found."
In May, the company moved its headquarters to the Playa Vista area of Los Angeles. At the time, Burr noted in a statement, "We've been re-energized as a company and we're excited about where we're going."
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Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
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