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Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Classless Society 

Once upon a time there was a businessman named Fred Khalilian. Unfortunately, his business got into a little bit of trouble.

From the Federal Trade Commission:


Case No. 6:00 -Civ-1057-ORL-19B



LEISURE TIME MARKETING, INC., a Florida Corporation;
DISCOVERY RENTAL, INC., d/b/a Discovery Rentals, Inc., a Florida Corporation;


IT IS...ORDERED that Defendant Fereidoun "Fred" Khalilian, and his officers, agents, directors, employees, salespersons, independent contractors, attorneys, corporations, subsidiaries, affiliates, successors, assigns, and all other persons in active concert or participation with him who receive actual notice of this Final Order by personal service or otherwise, whether acting directly or through any trust, corporation, subsidiary, division or other device, is hereby permanently restrained and enjoined from making expressly or by implication, any false or misleading representation or omission of any material fact in connection with the advertising, marketing, offering for sale or sale of any goods or services, including, but not limited to:

A. Making any misrepresentation that consumers will receive free goods or services;

B. Making any misrepresentation that the price quoted to a consumer in the sales solicitation is the total cost to purchase, receive or use the goods or services; and

C. Failing to disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner the conditions and restrictions to purchase, receive or use the goods or services.

And the Federal Communications Commission also had some words:

Dear Mr. Khalilian:

This is an official CITATION issued pursuant to section
503(b)(5) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the
Communications Act).

It has come to our attention that your company recently sent
an unsolicited advertisement to a telephone facsimile machine
(see attachment). Pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection
Act of 1991 (TCPA), and the Commission's rules, it is unlawful to
use a ``telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to
send an unsolicited advertisement to a telephone facsimile
machine.'' 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(1)(C); 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(a)(3).

In addition to the violation identified above, it appears
that your company has also violated the provisions of the TCPA
and the Commission's rules that require any person or entity who
sends a message via a telephone facsimile machine to clearly mark
``in a margin at the top or bottom of each transmitted page of
the message or on the first page of the transmission, the date
and time it is sent and an identification of the business, other
entity, or individual sending the message and the telephone
number of the sending machine or of such business, other entity,
or individual.'' 47 U.S.C. § 227(d)(1)(B); 47 C.F.R. §

Please be advised that subsequent violations of the
Communications Act or of the Commission's rules may result in the
imposition of monetary forfeitures not to exceed $11,000 for each
such violation or each day of a continuing violation. See 47
C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(3).

So, when you're mired in the muck of telemarketing scams and want to get into a more reputable business, what do you do?

Go into business with Paris Hilton and open Club Paris.

Khalilian basically got the right to use Paris' name, then planned a big grand opening at the Orlando club. Unfortunately, Hilton was late to her own club's opening:

The pink carpet was rolled out, the pink spotlights danced through the crisp night air of downtown Orlando, and everything seemed in place for the opening of Paris Hilton's first nightclub. Notably missing: One pink-loving hotel heiress.

Hilton arrived six hours behind schedule — after many guests had left. At least she had an heiress-appropriate excuse handy.

"I was in the Swiss Alps skiing and I got caught at the airport with all the holiday travel so I've been trying to travel for the past 24 hours," a smiling Hilton said after stepping out of a stretch SUV in front of the club shortly after 1 a.m. Friday.

After her friends, shouting "WOOOO," ran out of the nightclub to hug and kiss her in greeting, she apologized for her tardiness. "I'm so sorry I'm late."

A little blip, right? Well, when Club Paris opened a branch in Jacksonville, she didn't even show up at all.

[S]he was a no-show - often - for promised appearances (including opening night in Jacksonville on July 1).

"I was basically sick of hearing 'Where is Paris? Where is Paris?' " Khalilian said Thursday.

So Khalilian ended up trumping Hilton.

January 5, 2007 -- PARIS Hilton no longer has anything to do with the nightclubs named after her in Orlando and Jacksonville, Fla. - but they're still called "Club Paris" after that little city in France. The clubs dropped the ditzy heiress because she ducked out of scheduled promotional appearances, or showed up hours late. "It's all about: How has she screwed up now?" fumed owner Fred Khalilian. Hilton's flack, Elliot Mintz, said, "I'm certainly disappointed to learn of Fred's unfortunate comments."

But Khalilian, realizing that he couldn't do telemarketing to raise money to print new business cards, kept the "Club Paris" name. And he's searching for a new bimbo:

A Nationwide search will soon take place for the next Miss Club Paris USA! Audition dates, times and network to be announced.
After the initial audition, 300 of the most gorgeous, intelligent, and talented women in the nation will then be narrowed down to 36. From those 36 women, the top 18 will be guaranteed a deal for the Miss Club Paris USA calendar.

Out of those fabulous 18, the top 3 will advance as finalists, in hopes of winning the crown of Miss Club Paris USA!

The winner will receive a choice of a Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren or a Ferrari to drive for 12 months as well as a 12 month paid luxury apartment near Club Paris' corporate office, reasonable salary, and all expenses paid including travel and entertainment.

To audition, you must be female, 18-25, and a U.S. resident. Dancing, singing, or other performance talent is not required but is a huge plus! To submit your photo and resume, please visit a Club Paris location on any open night. Please, no phone calls or emails.

For audition information please check the website at www.clubparis.net

The winner will be required to attend all appearances, hosting, promotions, and anything related to marketing, print, etc. Club Paris will become the exclusive manager of Miss Club Paris USA, and anything further will be negotiated between both parties.

We wish you the best of luck, and like Fred says, "That's What's Up!"

Incidentally, I want to thank Jeff Pope for bringing the Club Paris story to my attention on his KGGI broadcast last week. He was riffing on the amount of stuff that Miss Club Paris USA will have to do to replicate Paris Hilton...

From the Ontario Empoblog (Information on the greatest 20th century U.S. president here)

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