If you're here for the first time, you may want to read who is "Behind Creatine Marketing".

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


ROADvertise is one of Creatine Marketing's longest listed clients. The trouble is, the half done work that actually still exists, is at best another incomplete project from dates before Creatine Marketing actually existed, or at worst, another failed venture of the Jeff Pulvino/Shane Barker dynamic duo posing as another fake client. From the company’s physical address to their promotional materials, everything points back to US Loan Auditors, the fraudulent venture which shut down its doors in 2010. Either way, what little work could possibly be claimed is unfinished, making it a poor yet accurate example of Creatine Marketing's work.

Creatine Marketing's Service Claims

Services Provided: Logo Design, Business Card Design
Creatine Marketing Client Page Capture 9/10/13
Client Description
ROADvertise came to us with a concept. They want to buy a mobile marketing truck and start marketing local business in Sacramento. They didn’t have a name, a logo, business cards or anything. It was an idea to implementation type project.
Who is ROADvertise?
We provide outdoor media advertising services through the use of our billboard trucks. Please provide your information and we will get in touch with you.
Website Videos Twitter

Services Provided:
  • Logo Design
  • Business Card Design
  • Website Design ROADvertise.com
  • Video Script Writing
  • Video Production
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – When you Google “Roadvertise”, we were able to secure #1, #2 and #4 spots on the first page

Shadiness Factors

  • ROADvertise's work is dated early 2010, almost a full year before Creatine Marketing was founded, and while US Loan Auditors was still in business.
  • ROADvertise's website and listings show a mailing address identical to US Loan Auditors in their Rancho Cordova location.
  • ROADvertise’s video work on Vimeo exclusively showcases advertising for US Loan Auditors.
  • ROADvertise’s website is only dummy text, and US Loan Auditors advertisements with no real content. The site was never finished.
  • Securing top listings for a business name is not successful SEO. Good SEO is about achieving high ranking in commonly searched terms, for people that don't know what they are searching for, not people searching for a specific business by name.
Poor SEO rankings for simple common search terms
  • Sacramento mobile advertising
  • Sacramento mobile billboards
  • Sacramento mobile billboard trucks
  • Sacramento truck advertising
  • Mobile truck billboards Sacramento

Powered by Creatine Marketing

Website built is actually customizable Wordpress theme called “Road Advertisements” from ViwoThemes.


We admit that it is possible that the business arrangement between Creatine Marketing and this company may have changed or not be fully expressed as we have shown here. If we have incorrect information or you wish to clarify the information posted here, please feel free to contact us with the necessary information.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wrist Charge - A Kickstart Knockoff

Wrist Charge Logo with hand in hang ten pose
Welcome to Kickstarter, Creatine Marketing. We've followed many a scam brought to you by the likes of Pulvino and friends at Creatine Marketing, but Wrist Charge just might be the first endeavor we've brought you that actually asks you, the consumer, to pay the $50,000 price tag for to get the scam started. Why was I not surprised to find Creatine Marketing was right in the middle of this, running the promotion?

Picture of Mohzy Loop iPhone charger demonstrating charging and extras on purse
Mohzy Loop
For this client, I have to admit, I wanted to think it was cool. Really. Wrist Charge, "the band in charge". My first thought jumped to green energy. Could it be? A motion powered charger? No, no mention of cool electromagnets or anything. Too much to hope for, but I'll keep looking. Surely, Wrist CHARGE at is at least bracelet shaped battery that can hold an extra charge for my iPhone on the go right? That's a cool idea (and I later found exists over at ThinkGeek). No, despite the name, Wrist Charge is nothing more than another USB cord. Ok, I guess an easy to carry Lightning cable isn't a terrible idea, but is this really the kind of idea worthy of the Kickstart community? In fact, didn't I see this done already in the Chinese markets, Amazon? Yep, I sure did, for a mere $15. In fact, DealsWoot has a special featuring them for $8.99. Well, maybe it's at least better quality? Looks like Mohzy is Apple MFi certified,  and Wrist Charge hasn't even been approved for it yet. So why then do we need Wrist Charge?
arm with ThinkGeek Wrist Charge Portable Battery
ThinkGeek Wrist Charger

Really we don't, it's just another product knockoff marketing itself as innovation. The truth is, I really don't think the Wrist Charge is a bad idea. It's just not a great idea, or even an original idea. For that matter, it's not even an original name. The ThinkGeek Wrist Charger, a much cooler product IMO, shares the name, yet actually provides a charge on your wrist.

Jerry Castro showing his Wrist Charge
Jerry Castro demonstrating Wrist Charge
My view of Kickstarter is a tool to help innovation, not helping fund a businessman copying someone else's product. In fact, if I saw this product in a store,  trusted the brand, and didn't know the history its marketing team has with misrepresenting products and services, I might have bought this, but I for one have no desire to give money for a mediocre product that already exists. In fact, according to Kickstarter, creators have no contractual obligation to use backer money for the project, or even complete the project and fulfill rewards. Kickstarter provides no guarantees. but recommends backers to make a judgement call based on creator's relevant experience, and provided details; details that Jerry Castro does not provide. There's no explanation for the high $50,000 Wrist Charge goal more than "Injection Molding (this is the BIG EXPENSE), Design and Production Expenses, Cost of Materials". Like Creatine Marketing staff, Jerry Castro claims a plethora of successful products, none of which look very successful or at all innovative either after looking into them, and none of them similar to a product like Wrist Charge. Seems to me, $50,000 is going to be profitable for Jerry Castro's bank account than he stands to make from this knockoff product.

So what's the tie in with Creatine Marketing that causes my instant skepticism? I'm skeptical of anything Creatine Marketing is involved in, and here are a few of the related reasons why. First off, I noticed this product in the first place seeing tweets form several Creatine Marketing owners Robert Black Jr & Jennifer Mount, and staff blogger Sasha Norikov all started tweeting endorsements. Looking at the Kickstarter page, there were a few comments from Sasha responding to an unhappy backer as a customer, and not a hired promoter. Finally, looking at the product website, it reeked of Creatine Marketing's badly customized Wordpress theme M.O.. Finally, it was definite after seeing Wrist Charge's Twitter feed is maintained via Creatine Marketing's old favorite and exclusively white-labeled tool, SnapSocial.

Now that I knew Creatine Marketing was involved, I started to notice all the trademark tactics: unsolicited spam, false claims of solutions, and treating paid, syndicated press releases as commercial endorsement. Since we already know from the many other examples at creatinemarketingshady.blogspot.com, Creatine Marketing is known for making promises and then taking your money and giving nothing back, there's no way I'll be sending you my money, Jerry Castro. Fool us once... and this time your reputation catches up with you.

Related Pages

  1. Wrist Charge KickStarter Page
  2. Wrist Charge Website
  3. Mohzy Loop USB
  4. ThinkGeek Wrist Charger
  5. 5 Important Things to Remember About Kickstarter

Update (July 26, 2013)

*from the editor
Since the original publication of this article, we've been contacted by Jerry Castro and been in dialog with him regrading a request for removal, and eventually a threat of SLAPP for slander, which I am addressing in a dedicated post.

*from the author
Given the attention this has received, I thought it to be worthwhile to provide an explanation for the statements I made above.

Concept and Design

I found no indication that the Wrist Charge is an actual copy of a specific product design, however, there are numerous products with the same functional idea that have been around for years already, as I mentioned above, even some which in my opinion are better designed and more functional, and while the very idea of wearing a charging cable around my wrist doesn't strike me as particularly fashionable, there might be a market with high school girls. For what it's worth, I think male or female would be better served with a product like Charge Card (an already funded Kickstarter), which would serve the same purpose in a more utilitarian and convenient design. From my perspective, there's little to no innovative thinking with Wrist Charge and whether it's diectly knocked off or not, it's not the first of its kind, by any means. 

The Tactics

I am calling Wrist Charge out on its marketing tactics. Deceptive marketing really irks me. Paying someone to write and distribute press releases is not the same as getting real industry endorsements. Claiming the Wall Street Journal wrote a story about your product when you paid to have them publish your won writing is outright lying. Same goes for Yahoo Finance, CrownSourcePR, and other that are quoted on the project homepage, all written by Wrist Charge. Using your dormant extra twitter account to tweet endorsements to your product page is just as bad. Building up a following from zero with a contest does not qualify as real product engagement. These are all trademarks tactics of a scam artist, and if you choose to employ them, you look like one too. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it's probably a duck.

The Creator

And that brings me to my next point of criticism for Wrist Charge, it's creator, Jerry Castro. Jerry Castro is an inventor. Some inventions are successful, some aren't. In America it's up to the consumer to decide a product's success. In that same way, one's past work says a lot about one's future potential. Jerry Castro in an inventor of the type of things you find in the clearance shelf at Walgreens. His products like The Makeup Frame, and Zen-Ergy Balance Bandz aren't exactly the success of the Frisbee, and that's ok, but peddling mediocre ideas doesn't make you a successful innovator. Maybe I'm missing something here, but again it comes back to how important it is to make honest representations.

The Money

My final point is a conclusion I come entirely based on my three points above and my tendency to be cautious of those asking for my hand-earned dollar. There's no saying Jerry won't go forth and bring unto us Wrist Charge bracelets that grant wishes and more. I was making the point that based on the information (or lack thereof) presented in Wrist Charge's project page, coupled with the deception shown in marketing the project, I would think twice about donating money to the project. Kickstarter is not a store. It's a fundraising site. Once you give the money, it's gone, and you can only hope you choose wisely. Wrist Charge certainly wouldn't be the first Kickstarter project to take the money and cancel the project, and it's something that you have to remember, ESPECIALLY if you are not familiar with the Kickstarter community. YOU AREN'T BUYING ANYTHING, and beyond that, you have no say in what happens to your money after you hand it over. So choose wisely. For my dollar, I'd rather give it over to a project creating something that hasn't been done already, and provides a breakdown of what the money is for.

We admit that it is possible that the business arrangement between Creatine Marketing and this company may have changed or not be fully expressed as we have shown here. If we have incorrect information or you wish to clarify the information posted here, please feel free to contact us with the necessary information.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Creatine Marketing & California Prop 8

#NOH8 Logo
This certainly has been a big week for the United States LGBT community. I can't begin to count how much productivity I've lost captivated with following the landmark SCOTUS Prop 8 and DOMA rulings. Same-sex marriage is once again legal in California, and Sacramento alone issued 19 same-sex marriage licenses today alone, and even Modern Family is taking a look at getting hitched in the post DOMA cheer. Now there are many better educated discussions on the topic, and I have no intention trying to duplicate that evaluation and commentary, but I do have a point to make, and though it is probably not the more important points of the topic, I think it is interesting nonetheless. What I want to discuss isn't about looking forward at what the future will hold, but looking back at what was done along the way. The question is what does Creatine Marketing have to do with this? The answer is prop8.org.

As we all know in 2008, the California public brought proposition 8 to voter ballot, and was likely the most controversial issue on the ballot at the time. As with today, debate raged, and phrases like 'prop 8' were trending, and who came along to take advantage of that? None other than our friends at Creatine Marketing. Back in 2008, Jeff Pulvino and Shane Barker were running a US Loan Auditors precursor real estate scam called, Prop8 Associates, complete with their all too familiar affiliate marketing option. 

Of course no one believes that this founded-during-California-Prop-8-campaign company just happened to share the same name as one of the most popular search terms of the time. The Pulvino/Barker dynamic duo were trying to cash in on the buzz with misleading marketing tactics. At the same time, I suppose you can't really fault this type of tactic if it worked, but it just seems in poor taste to take advantage of the issue.

Now we've mentioned before a number of businesses run by the Pulvino/Barker duo, including this blog's namesake, Creatine Marketing, and like most of these businesses, Prop8 Associates LLC is no more. Why then is the domain prop8.org now registered to Creatine Marketing (aka Next Level Ideas)?

It would appear that Creatine Marketing is still tying to make a profit on the gay rights debate. For the last several years, this domain has been used as a parking page with an offer to sell to the highest bidder. Using parked domains to make money is nothing new. What I question is why this was kept all this time, and the content currently on the site. Prop8.org now contains a very basic Wordpress site stating its would be value, a starting bidding price of $75,000, many middle of the road blog articles on gay equal rights topics, and a boast of a #3 rank on Google.

I find this despicable. This is not an abandoned and forgotten domain, it was actively renewed not 3 months ago listing Creatine Marketing's less than one year old address at 3840 Rosin Court according to their WHOIS registration. This is an intentional attempt to profit on an issue of targeted discrimination against millions of Californians, and just one more example of what these con artists are willing to do to make a few bucks. This is what makes a con artist. No morals, and the active sense and willingness to exploit the trends of the time, whether it be desperate home-owners, the social media marketing craze, or even the pain the LGBT community.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Relaxing Vacation Home

Creatine Marketing's Service Claims

Client Description
Services Provided: Logo Design, Business Card Design
Creatine Marketing Client Page Capture 6/14/13
The owner of this unique property contacted us to marketing his property in the wine country. It was untapped wine country that needed to get some exposure. It is located in the Sierra Nevada hills that have some of the world’s best kept secrets.
Who is Relaxing Vacation Home?
If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday routine, come enjoy the mountains in comfort and style. Whether you want to escape with your honey, explore with your family, or live it up with some friends, the Bear Lodge can provide all you need.


Services Provided:
  • Logo Design
  • Business Card Design
  • Website Design

Shadiness Factors

  • Relaxing Vacation Home's logo design is actually a commonly used graphic not designed by Creatine Marketing.
  • Relaxing Vacation Home's website is well over two years old, but is filled with dummy text and stockphotos in place of actual content. It's quite obvious that the website has never been finished or used.
  • Website design is nearly identical to stock template shown below. There's no real content in the site, it's difficult to attribute Creatine Marketing with the design work.

Powered by Creatine Marketing

Website built is actually customizable Wordpress theme named "TheProfessional", available for $39 at Elegant Themes.
Snapshot of Relaxing Vacation Home's website Snapshot of TheProfessional Theme demo page

We admit that it is possible that the business arrangement between Creatine Marketing and this company may have changed or not be fully expressed as we have shown here. If we have incorrect information or you wish to clarify the information posted here, please feel free to contact us with the necessary information.