April 01, 2010 22:03 ET

AGORACOM Responds to OSC Allegations

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 1, 2010) - AGORACOM, North America's leading small-cap online investor relations firm and second-generation online financial community provides the following response to Ontario Securities Commission allegations announced earlier today.

George Tsiolis, Founder of AGORACOM, stated "It is an understatement to say that we are all shocked to receive the allegations made by the OSC earlier today. As the person who founded this company from his home, based on a passion to create a better online investor relations model for the small-cap industry, we at AGORACOM have strived to do nothing less than deliver great, affordable and cost-efficient solutions of the highest standards. Since inception, AGORACOM has spoken out against the pitfalls of an industry plagued by fast-money boiler rooms, e-mail and fax spam, and chose to focus on long-term online investor relations campaigns. This includes search engine marketing and other Web 2.0 strategies that provide small-cap companies with an opportunity to connect with investors, something that was never before possible. We at AGORACOM are extremely proud of this feat, outright disagree with allegations made by the OSC and look forward to vigorously defending them at any future proceeding."


The OSC allegation of fraud pertaining to traffic and activity on client HUBS is unfounded and without merit. AGORACOM initiated conversation on some client HUBS to simply act as a catalyst to spark conversation amongst members and forum users.

As a new medium that is still unfamiliar, the initiating of conversation was also meant to remove inhibitions of members that often feared being the first to post or "sound stupid"- a dynamic that is common to most social settings.

Tsiolis added "We are all acutely aware of the dynamic in which complete strangers are brought together into a community for the first time and the inhibitions that prevent people from interacting. From our first days in school, to our first high-school dance, to the local town hall meeting, people are naturally afraid to be the first to speak or act. The minority of people that do tend to speak or act first tend to be the best, brightest or loudest in the group, which further drives the inhibitions of the majority. My extensive face-to-face experience with small-cap investors has shown they are no different. I have heard time and time again about their fear of asking "simple" questions that might demonstrate a perceived lack of knowledge, or contributing information that isn't "smart". We helped those investors open up and begin sharing their knowledge."

Although AGORACOM has been advised by counsel not to respond to the OSC allegations publicly, AGORACOM feels it is important to put the alleged quantity of posts in context.

First, AGORACOM client HUBS during the period in question ranged between approximately 30 – 90, while non-client HUBS ranged between 300 – 2,000. 

Secondly, AGORACOM traffic during the period in question (as measured by Google Analytics) provides further relevant context to the statistics used by the OSC.

o Absolute Unique Visitors 2.204 million
o Visits 14.036 million
o Page Views 163.11 million
o Total Clients 170
o Total Countries/Territories 217

* AGORACOM began using Google Analytics in July of 2007, so no traffic figures are available for approximately 11 of the first 35 months in question. 

Moreover, for the years 2008 – 2009, AGORACOM employees accounted for just 0.23%, or just under ¼ of 1% of total visits to the site

Finally, AGORACOM outright rejects any allegation or insinuation that AGORACOM posts were intended to be promotional and promoted purchasing or holding of stock in order to increase the value of stock options in our clients. To this end, senior account executives of AGORACOM provided the following unified statement today:

"This allegation is simply untrue. In fact, we were repeatedly instructed and reminded by both Mr. Tsiolis and Mr. Kondakos to not post promotional materials and provide information and dialogue that will stimulate conversation. The fact that a former employee decided to use the message boards for his own benefit last year is unfortunate but in no way reflects the honest and hard work that we have delivered to our clients over the last several years." 

Tsiolis concluded "Our experience unequivocally demonstrates that small-cap clients engage AGORACOM for its ability to use Web 2.0 strategies to reach potential investors and audiences that could not otherwise be reached through traditional investor relations methods. Those services are listed below. This is what clients are promised, this is what AGORACOM delivers."

  • Search Engine Marketing    

  • Exposure On Our Tier-1 Content  Partner Sites 

  • Exposure On Global Mobile  Partner Sites 

  • iTunes Videos and Audios    

  • YouTube Videos    

  • Podcasting    

  • Webcasting    

  • Blogosphere Marketing    

  • Daily Video Broadcasts    

  • National Business Television  Advertising 

  • Online Conferences    

  • Twitter Exposure    

AGORACOM has not received any supporting documentation from the OSC to support its allegations. We look forward to defending our reputation vigorously.

About AGORACOM – Online Investor Relations Firm For Small-Cap Companies

AGORACOM Investor Relations is North America's leading online investor relations firm for small-cap companies. We have partnered with some of the world's biggest Internet and mobile companies to market our clients to a massive and targeted audience of new small-cap investors. Our traffic ranking is above the top 1% of all websites around the world, with almost 2.5 million visitors, 15.7 million visits and 168 million page views from 220 countries and territories in 2008-2009 (As tracked by Google Analytics).