Music PR Company: 25% Of Our Clients Are Entitled Little Brats

I first heard about Manimal PR from an artist management facebook group I’m a part of.

Someone was inquiring about them and immediately the post was flooded with fellow managers saying “I’ve worked with Manimal, message me.” It was weird because no one publicly posted they had a good experience with Manimal, just cryptic “message me” posts. So I started digging, messaging everyone. Then I went deeper. This artist also heard from that artist about their experience with Manimal. On and on and on. I spoke to publicists, artists, managers and labels and one of the them told me: “Manimal is the worst kept secret in the indie rock community” and that “almost every publicist knows this guy…no one talks. For me I was scared of legal stuff because he would be the type of guy to go after people for defamation”.

Well, you can’t sue if it’s true. And after months of investigation, speaking with over 20 managers, artists, labels and publicists, obtaining invoices, emails and text screenshots, I feel I need to tell some of these artists’ stories so there is some understanding out there for artists and managers thinking about working with Manimal PR.

Manimal PR Review:

Here are some direct quotes from previous Manimal clients I spoke with:

“My client paid $4K for a 9 month campaign…when there aren’t any results you realize how much of a scam it really is.”

“I don’t think they are thieves necessarily, but they just suck tremendously and are a shame to the industry”

“Working with Manimal ended up making us feel like our material must have been shit, but the publicist we’re working with now is crushing it”

“We’re now working with this new [publicist]. A week into it he secured this person to come out to our show. He delivered press on time. In 3 weeks we had more than 1 write up a week. It was finally really good for the confidence of our band. Really clarifying the shit show that was Manimal.”

“They totally dropped off in the middle of my campaign without warning”

“The one feature we got was botched. Nathalia didn’t clear a press release with my client and the majority of the info on the feature was incorrect.”

“Many times they wouldn’t answer for a week.”

“When I told Paul that I wanted to back out and that I’ll pay you for the first one, but I want my money back for 2nd two. He replied ‘No we have all this next stuff secured.’ He said 4 or 5 big blogs would do stuff. 5 playlists he talked to. But none of it happened.”

“Paul said he secured a playlist, but my friend actually talked to the playlist and they said they passed, saying ‘not our vibe.’ He just lied! He made it up!”

“After we asked to cut ties, Paul started taking credit for our friend’s work.”

“There’s a paper trail of Paul fucking lying. Making shit up.”

“He just took the money and ran. I just didn’t want to bring a lawyer into it.”

“A week before the deadline [Nathalia] disappeared. Every day I would text and email and no replies, never. Days went by. I kept trying, silence.”

“I don’t think they are the sleezeballs that some might think they are. Would I hire them again? No.”

“The press release they wrote was terrible to say the least. So poorly written. It made no sense.”

“I later found out that Paul and his wife [Nathalia] have a film division “Manimal Films” that I feel a lot of the cash was going towards.”

These are direct quotes from Manimal’s former clients. Every person I spoke with asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from them. But I have all of this confirmed, checked and documented. I obtained invoices and proposals to corroborate what everyone told me.

And a publicist I spoke with told me he felt that Manimal is “really good at going after young bands who don’t have experience with PR.” Another publicist said in reference to Manimal “these terrible PR’s make it 10x harder for us good ones.”

With such a poor reputation you’re probably wondering, how are these guys still in business?!

Well, they have big name clients listed on their website under “Clients.” Yoko Ono, Duran Duran, Bat For Lashes, Warpaint, Moby, etc. However, their long list is awfully misleading as I reached out to many of the clients’ on this list. One had an extremely negative experience. One said their experience was okay, but wouldn’t use them again. One of them told me they had no idea who Manimal was. And others did not actually hire Manimal for their PR services but rather had a single or an album put out through Manimal Records. Is it fair to list a well-known artist on their PR website who had one song released through their label? You be the judge.

Manimal does have some satisfied clients too, I must add.

I spoke to a few of them and even some ‘satisfied’ clients had some reservations. One wrote to me: “In the beginning it was slow. The first single was featured on a Soundcloud playlist and nothing more. But the video for the song was featured on *** [Large, well-known outlet, name omitted to protect the innocent], and then I felt that things were flowing more easily — a lot of premieres on [another big outlet]. Towards the end, I felt like they did drop the ball a bit, and I landed some press for myself.”

But this artist referred their friends to Manimal who had horrible experiences and is now regretting those referrals and told me how bad they feel because of it.

Paul asked me to speak to a few of the bands he thought would say nice things about them.

So I did. One artist wrote back stating that they found out about Manimal through Paul (who they are friends with ‘in the LA scene’). The artist said “I personally have had nothing but good experiences with Manimal. He let me know know what was going on and who he pitched to and their responses as it was happening.” This band told me that Manimal got them on a Rolling Stone online blog post (4 years ago).

Another one of Paul’s referrals he asked me to speak with told me they received daily emails and texts and said “they did great work and we felt a kinship.”

And another artist Paul referred me to said “The communication has been amazing, it’s one of the strongest parts of the campaign. They are always there and always answer, to the point where we feel we’ve developed a strong bond with them.”

The owner of Manimal PR is Paul Beahan.

I spoke to him two times on the phone at length. However, it took multiple email attempts to get him to agree to setup a call or answer my questions — a common theme I noticed.

I recorded our conversations to make sure I got everything right and didn’t misquote him.

He’s a nice enough dude and on the phone he’s awfully convincing that he believes he and his team of 7 are doing good work. However, a few things he said really stood out to me and rubbed me wrong.

“25% of [our clients] are entitled little brats” – Paul Beahan, Manimal PR

I pressed him on this statement.  I told him that the many artists and managers I spoke to don’t seem entitled.  They actually seem to understand what PR is and were most upset that they just didn’t receive regular updates and reports and that Manimal and Paul were difficult to get ahold of.  And, of course, were frustrated with the lack of results.

Paul told me that the Manimal team only takes on 30 clients at any given time.  The common theme from nearly everyone I spoke to was that they did not receive regular reports and, if they paid up front, Paul and the team were much less likely to respond in a timely manner.

Which is a good time to mention: NEVER PAY UPFRONT FOR A PR CAMPAIGN.

All the other PR companies I spoke to charge monthly.  Never up front.  Never half and half.  A publicist at a major PR firm told me why they charge monthly: “Thats to protect the artists so if something isn’t going that well they can cut without being on the hook for a shit ton of money.”  Another publicist, who also charges monthly, told me when I asked about paying up front “I mean, when I remodeled my house, I didn’t pay my contractor for the entire project upfront, so why would I pay a publicist for 6 months upfront?”

Manimal typically asks for payment up front, but many artists were able to negotiate half up front and half at the end.

Paul told me they charge $1,000 “per asset.” They deem asset as a single, music video or album release.  So 3 singles and a music video would run you $4,000.  This number was fairly consistent from the artists and managers I spoke with, however it did fluctuate a bit in some cases.  Paul told me “we rarely charge people up front.”  But nearly every artist I spoke to was at least asked to pay up front.

Manimal runs their campaigns quite differently than most PR firms.

They encourage their clients not to set release dates for “assets” (singles/videos/albums) until a blog agrees to a premier. This was a cause of extreme frustration from many of the clients I spoke to. Oftentimes Manimal’s proposals would list dates and time frames for the campaigns. But if they can’t secure a premier by release date, they will ask to extend the campaign.

“We always get something. There’s always an outlet or a roundup. Someone that owes us a favor. We guarantee that we will get a premier. We totally guarantee a premier” – Paul Beahan, Manimal.

I’m confused at how Manimal can guarantee a premier, but not by the set release date.  Clients told me that sometimes their single campaigns extended months and months to the point where the client just asked to cut ties and stop whatever work they were doing because it wasn’t working and they were not receiving progress reports or updates.  Many clients I spoke to felt like they just disappeared.

I asked Paul about this. He said:

“They know our address and phone number. If we disappeared on people that would be fucked up. If that would have happened we would have been sued by now.” – Paul Beahan, Manimal.

Shade Upon Shade – SubmitHub

And here’s where it gets super shady.  Manimal is listed on blog/playlist/label submission platform, SubmitHub as a Record Label: Manimal Vinyl Records.  Artists can pay to submit to the label.  They currently have nearly a 50% approval rating from 1,778 submissions.  That signals to me that they have signed 889 artists who submitted through SubmitHub. Which of course, is not the case.

Paul told me flat out that they sign about 5 artists a year from SubmitHub for a single deal.

So how do they have a 50% acceptance rating?

What they are doing is accepting anyone who isn’t totally awful, saying something to the extent of:

“Good news! I’m interested in talking more about your music and ways MANIMAL VINYL RECORDS might be able to help you… We would love to work PR/Marketing for you, feel free to email me [email protected] if interested.”

Do you see what just happened?

Artists think they are submitting to a record label, but they turn around and sell them their PR service.

This is a bait and switch if I ever saw one.

When I alerted Jason Grishkoff, the founder of SubmitHub, to this, he seemed well aware and seemed content listing a tiny red disclaimer in their description reading “Users have reported that some of their services may require payment.”  If I wanted to maintain the integrity of SubmitHub I would ban this practice and make it against their terms.

But Jason did tell me that Manimal is one the most “active submitters on SubmitHub” — which is probably why he doesn’t want to upset them.  They bring him big business.  Paul justified using SubmitHub instead of his direct contacts with “Unfortunately a lot of those outlets who know Manimal are like ‘sorry Charlie you have to use SubmitHub.’  So we have to submit for pickups on there.”

+SubmitHub Review

When I inquired with Duran Duran’s management — discussing how I had received reports from multiple musicians who felt like they were scammed by Manimal PR for thousands — their manager called Paul.  He then called me and said that Duran Duran’s manager told him that it sounded like Manimal messed up a campaign for my girlfriend or something.  Paul flat out asked me this.  “This feels personal” he told me.  And I told him, while no this has nothing to do with my girlfriend, but yes it is personal because I’m an artist.

When I hear from multiple artists who feel they were taken advantage of, it feels personal.

Over the course of my music career, I’ve had countless shady ass companies and people contact me for various scammy things.  It drives me insane.  I have a platform.  Most indie artists don’t. I’m not afraid of getting sued (because the truth is on my side) and I’m not afraid of being ‘blacklisted’ because my reputation is well established.  And frankly, calling out injustices against musicians is more important to me than my hurt feelings when they inevitably send me threatening, spiteful emails attacking everything and anything about me personally. Or getting their minions to post in the comments hateful things about me. Rise above!

Speaking of which, if you are an artist or manager and feel you have been taken advantage of, feel free to reach out to me ([email protected]) and I’ll investigate.  Nothing drives me crazier than people who take advantage of musicians.

+13 Ways To Get Blacklisted From The Music Industry

If there was one artist who had a bad experience, I wouldn’t have looked into Manimal.

You can’t please everyone.  There will always be sour grapes with every company. If there were two, well, then I might start to dig deeper and ask around. But the more I dug, the more victims I found in Manimal’s wake.  And that’s why I felt I needed to investigate and share my findings with the general indie music community.

After my months of research, I’ve determined that Manimal PR seems to be more dysfunctional, incompetent and greedy rather than running a complete scam.

If they want to improve, I would encourage them to send their clients detailed reports every two weeks — like most other publicists do.  Detailed reports.  Not merely a list of press they hit up.  But excel sheets of the outlet, submission date, and the status “passed, approved, premier, no response, etc.”  This shows proof of work.  To be honest, I don’t know how they are able to keep anything straight without reports of their own.  Every publicist I spoke with, except Paul, keeps reports like this.  One publicist said that he just removes the contact information and sends over his personal reports to the client and highlights all the responses.

Of course clients want lots of coverage, but above all, they want to know that they’re not wasting their money.

Manimal should stop taking on artists they don’t feel they will be successful with.  When you have a 25-30% (Paul’s numbers) dissatisfied client base, it’s time to change the way you do business.  You should have less than a 5% dissatisfied client base.  Take on fewer clients.  Be more discerning on who you choose to work with.  When I told Paul that an artist told me they paid Manimal [a very large number] up front, Paul’s response was “I wish! If we [charged that] I’d be driving a whole different car.”  This response makes me believe that Paul and Manimal are using Manimal PR to merely make money.  Paul did tell me that he’s not in this to make money.  And I believe he didn’t get into the music game to make money, but rather because he loves music.  However, it seems Manimal has lost their way.

I highly encourage Manimal to take a long hard look in the mirror and reevaluate how they conduct business.

 

Ari Herstand is the author of How To Make It in the New Music Business, a Los Angeles based musician and the founder of the music biz advice blog Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake and Instagram: @ariherstand

62 Responses

  1. sadboy

    I listened to some of your ‘bigger’ songs Ari…. and why would anyone listen to you, your music is not great. First work on good music.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Ari didn’t use the service. Maybe read the article and use some critical thinking.

      Reply
    • To Paul, Nathalia, Livvy Or Kelly

      Its fairly obvious this is someone from Manimal, so why hide in the comments section? Wouldn’t a better publicist address this crisis head on?

      Reply
      • Who knows

        Totally agree with this – this is a shady comment from someone who works there.

        Reply
    • Lurap Litmur

      Why would Ari’s music have anything to do with Ari’s journalistic work? That’s like saying ‘Stephen Hawkins couldn’t even walk by himself, what would he know about physics?’ Poor desperate argument, I think.

      Reply
    • wubuh lubba dubdub

      Classic ad hominem there, @sadboy – very Trumpian of you. Obviously you work for Manimal PR and didn’t read the article, given you must have found out about Ari from this blog post. Why don’t you work on actually doing your job and stop trying to defend a clearly shady company? Maybe then this article wouldn’t have had to be written.

      Reply
  2. Drew

    Ari- thank YOU for standing up for what’s right and investigating companies like this. I too have heard negative things about Manimal PR and it’s about time they felt some accountability for their actions. Keep fighting the good fight.

    Reply
  3. David Candy

    i don’t know what these kids are saying. Manimal broke my band years ago when they were running it out of a tiny apartment in LA. Paul is a solid dude and when people come at him with out of control egos, he simply disengages and takes no bullshit. Ari sounds like he has a personal beef with anyone who actually charges money for work. Go after the big NYC PR firms that charge bands $2000 a month whether they get press or not. I can name a dozen of those.

    Reply
    • sadboy

      I won’t even listen to someone who has no real core to back up ‘right’ to criticize that much. By core I mean, I would rather listen to someone with real , good music. Ari’s music is not great. The articles and books , advice … whatever he’s doing would have a lot more weight with real , good music.
      Good music is hard work , don’t think music needs any of these half assed ‘musicians’ … do you get a job somewhere if you are not skilled? I don’t think so. But with music anyone with a guitar is already a musician. Yeah k

      Reply
      • LOL

        Sadboi=Nathalia, whose go-to responses usually involve telling people they’re entitled and/or spoiled and/or need to work harder whenever she fucks something up

        Reply
    • wubuh lubba dubdub

      Uh did you read the article, Ian Svenonius? Clearly a PR company that charges $2k a month would at least respond to clients and send reports. Manimal PR clearly did none of those things and shadily charged up front.
      “Paul is a solid dude and when people come at him with out of control egos, he simply disengages and takes no bullshit.” Did you READ his replies? Who calls their clients spoiled brats? He is clearly full of bullshit and obviously lied to the clients in this story. Glad he’s your “friend” and you were nice enough to stick up for him in the comments section, but if you really are an anti-authoritarian Marxist then I would think you would wise enough to see that Manimal PR/Manimal Vinyl Records/Paul/Nathalia are preying on new musicians. Taking money from the uninformed and being shady doesn’t sound very Marxist to me (though it’s definitely a Stalin-like trait).

      Reply
      • LUXXURY

        In my experience with Manimal they *ASKED* if I could pay upfront. Which is, to me, totally reasonable, if not standard in many service industry fields, as an opening to a negotiation at least. When clients can do so, they do; if they can’t, they don’t. The end. I can’t see why this is even mentioned in the story as nobody is being strong- armed (accusations of Stalin-like traits aside) into accepting the payment terms. (And BTW comparing Paul to Stalin is an innovative adjunct to Godwin’s law). Also they didn’t charge anywhere near $2k/month, it was less than half of that. Also I think Ian’s Marxism is pretty clearly tongue-in-chic – it’s weird to attack him on that front. Looking forward to hearing your ad hominem responses to my comment!

        Reply
        • wubuh lubba dubdub

          You clearly misinterpreted my comment. First, why ask someone to pay upfront instead of doing a monthly charge if you’re confident your clients will get paid? Paying up front is not standard in many service industry fields. Work with other PR/ad agencies and you’ll see that. Do you pay for your mechanic in full before they fix your car? Do you pay your doctor upfront before you go to your checkup? Or do they do actual work first then charge you? In my experience, work is either done first then paid for or work is continuously conducted on a contractual basis. But regardless of the subtle nuances of the Music PR industry, they were clearly shady about how they reached out. They categorize themselves as a record label on SubmitHub – then they flip the switch and ask you to pay them. They are clearly targeting new musicians who aren’t experienced in PR as written in the article. Also, you CLEARLY missed what I said. Other agencies charge a monthly fee and provide proof of work. Manimal did not. When you pay someone up front, the least they can do is provide proof they did any work at all, which it sounds like Manimal didn’t do. And yes, I was being hyperbolic and cheeky by flipping the switch from Marxism to Stalinism but hopefully you have enough of a sense of humor to catch my drift. What Manimal has been doing would be considered a “dick move” by most people. Glad another one of Paul’s friends is coming to the rescue though.
          Oh and as for your comment: “Also they didn’t charge anywhere near $2k/month, it was less than half of that.” You just contradicted yourself. You ranted about how it’s ok to pay upfront, then say they didn’t charge anywhere near $2k/month, but tell me where you’re getting this math especially if they don’t charge monthly and you have no idea what the proposed timelines looked like? Because if Manimal charged someone $1k-$5k up front and did nothing and provided no evidence of their work, how does that add up to “$2k/month”? Sounds like they straight up took the money and ran, so to even compare it to a monthly charge is preposterous.

          Reply
          • LUXXURY

            Paying 100% upfront is unusual but asking for it and settling for less is just a negotiation. It doesn’t sound like anybody was coerced into whatever payment terms they accepted.

            I don’t disagree that the line between their being a label and a PR agency is a thin one but I think it actually works to the band’s advantage to be associated with the roster.

            Yes, I think Manimal should provide proof of work more than they appear to have.

            “Hopefully you have enough of a sense of humor” is what people say when they buffer a weak argument with ad hominems.

            They charged me less than half of what would have been $2000/month amortized across the life of the campaign.

  4. Sadboi

    LOL Paul and Nathalia are huge crooks, this is like, an open secret. Keep sending fake tracking numbers to people you owe payments to, Paul!

    Reply
  5. Mark Lee Jarasek

    This really is great investigative journalism. Ari dug deep and presented all sides. The reader needs to be the final judge of what they may or may not think of this company.

    Reply
      • Mark Lee Jarasek

        Hi, UM – Yes, Ari Herstand really does an extremely thorough job here. He’s the one doing the great digging and reporting. I’ve been in professional journalism for a good portion of my career. I know it when I see it.

        Reply
  6. Andrew

    Love the concept of this, Ari. Thanks for doing this work. It would be great to have a central database where we musicians can rate the publicists, radio promoters, and etc we’ve worked with. The good and bad. Listed alphabetically. Depending on how access is managed it could be a very useful tool.

    Reply
  7. E.

    Not at all my personal experience with Manimal, but that’s just me. Curious why the writer chose Manimal because out of all the PR I’ve run, they’ve charged the least and gotten me the most press. Nat & Paul have always been sweet and transparent so this is all very confusing to me?

    Reply
  8. Elton

    Couple Grade-A SPAZHOLES….Had lunch with them and my wallet disappeared. They wouldn’t help me locate it. Then I was ready to hit the road, I went to the door to put my shoes on AND THEY WERE GONE. At the end of the day they chalked it up to bad luck. I haven’t been to Calabasas since. Inhospitable AF….

    Reply
  9. Asaf

    This totally sounds like some inside job. I’ve known these guys for close to 10 years and they are excellent business people and all you guys should be ashamed of yourselves. I’m sure there’s a few campaigns it didn’t go well but these guys would never steal anyone’s money. I trust them with my life and my career for many years. Get a life!

    Reply
    • wubuh lubba dubdub

      Ari clearly did a ton of work on this piece and even interviewed Paul. You sound like a victim-shaming moron who would probably stick up for Harvey Weinstein if you knew him.
      Sounds like you have a totally unbiased opinion of Manimal PR and are not at all trying to take up for them because Paul asked you to: “I’ve known these guys for close to 10 years and they are excellent business people and all you guys should be ashamed of yourselves.”
      Get some perspective, Asaf.

      Reply
  10. Eek

    Someone should sue these people. I know a couple of bands on their label (not even PR clients of theirs) who dealt with some really shady shit from Paul.

    Reply
  11. PeterHollens

    Ari I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and your integrity and know that you wouldn’t write an article like this without doing an incredible mount of due diligence I think it takes a lot of guts to speak up in this industry and I applaud you for standing up for musicians and artists. My only experience with PR was rock paper scissors and although I have nothing else to compare it to I thought that the thousands of dollars I spent was not only worth it because I learned a lot about the industry, PR but I also gained perspective on how it functioned! Got lots of connections with multiple pod casts and writers and other people… anyway all that to say good on you for doing some deep dive into a subject…journalists are getting taken advantage of left and right lately so I got your back. Please excuse me utilizing dictation for this, I’m watching my kiddo ?.

    Reply
      • Drew

        Sadboi / Manimal, it was for a review. To help people avoid atrocious business practicies much like this article.

        Reply
  12. Paul Resnikoff
    Paul Resnikoff

    As someone on the receiving end of a lot (a LOT) of PR pitches, I know how difficult this can be for the person pitching. I’m of course cool with hearing about new stuff, but sometimes I do wonder if it’s worth the money for the client. And that goes for artists, tech companies, whomever. Better to have a relationship with the publication itself: people at publications, including writers, can be surprisingly approachable. Frankly, I love hearing directly from the founder or CEO, they’ve got dirt on their hands and aren’t just thinking of press as some task or necessary evil. They see it as a valuable way to connect with the people that can help them grow. Hit me up!

    Paul.

    Written while listening to Beethoven ( of course)

    Reply
  13. Anon

    I almost worked with them but doing simple research of reaching out to their clients on insta, I discovered the truth and decided not to work with them.

    Reply
  14. wubuh lubba dubdub

    Wonderfully written article, Ari. You captured every side of the story. Hopefully this saves other musicians from dealing with Manimal PR. Maybe Paul and Nathalia will make things right and give refunds to those they’ve wronged or get out of the business forever.
    Manimal PR is a garbage company and everyone they victimized was afraid to say something. I hope after this article has come out that those wronged will band together and take back what is rightfully theirs from this shady, awful business. Manimal PR deserves to be sued for this insane amount of negligence and incompetence.

    Reply
  15. Eric John Kaiser

    Thanks for the article and for doing the research about that company Ari.

    Reply
  16. THE DUDE

    I submitted my personal music through SubmitHub and was contacted by Paul. We spoke on the phone and had a nice conversation.

    While I thought the convo was going to be strictly about sync/licensing deals, he did bring up PR a few times and tried to sell me on it. Having music industry experience (I did not disclose this on the call), I knew something seemed off.

    He did, however, link me up with someone about sync/licensing, but the relationship didn’t pan out (this was of no fault to Paul).

    At the end of the day, I understood he was trying to sell me on PR which is totally fine but it was a bit misleading going into the conversation.

    Figured I’d throw my two cents out there.

    Reply
  17. Frank

    Just wanted to pipe in with a comment about my personal experience with Manimal. I am an independent musician who, until today, was unfamiliar with Ari’s work, so this is a completely unbiased opinion.

    My experience with Manimal was precisely like the others described in this article. Nice folks, and very positive about the quality of our music, but the communication was abysmal, the individual campaigns for each asset were sloppy and overly drawn out, and the drop-off from the beginning to the end of the campaign was extremely steep, in terms of visible efforts and results. Unless they change in a meaningful way over time, I wouldn’t recommend them to any independent artist, especially those for whom money is a concern.

    Reply
  18. Sam

    Paul and Nathalia are greedy, fake and clearly uneducated.
    They pretend to have contacts but have zero presence in the music scene or industry.

    Not only are they scams, they take advantage of people emotionally as well.
    So great to have this article out, great work Ari.

    Reply
  19. Geoff

    i am a record label owner that has been around for many more years then i would care to admit. i have worked with paul on both sides of the table on about half a dozen releases. i will admit that he is an eccentric and scattered at times and tends to overcommit, but never has their been any shade when it came to money. he is easy to get a hold of and i am sure if all the complaints here were genuine you could reach out to him to discuss your issues with him or this company. otherwise a majority of these “complaints” sound like they are the same few people or others with personal beefs. best of luck to you.

    Reply
  20. Sean

    My band got one decent placement on syndicated TV through Manimal. They (Paul) beat around the bush and promised payment countless times and it just never came. Had to just move on as hiring a lawyer would be too costly. Definitely part of the game Manimal plays. Thanks for taking advantage of us Paul.

    Reply
    • Sean

      Update here; after posting this Paul got in touch with me and explained the past situation a bit and with apology. Soon after he sent over funds as makeup compensation for missing our payment. I thought that was very cool.

      Reply
  21. Gabi Sifre

    I run a small label, Last Bummer Records, and “working” with Manimal was absolutely the worst experience I’ve ever had in the music industry.

    A band I work with was contacted directly by Nathalia, who was interested in releasing their records in Canada. She supposedly had a subsidiary of Manimal operating over there.

    She offered us free PR services, publishing, and sync deals in exchange for the rights to be the Canadian distributor for this band specifically.

    From day one it was a mess. Their lawyers would never respond to our edits to the contract, etc. I think all in all it took almost a year to get a basic contract signed by Nathalia and Paul.

    After that, other than a high-profile placement for a stream of a record, they did absolutely nothing.

    I’m not going to get into all the details beyond that here except to give you the conclusion. Manimal has been in possession of over 300 copies of vinyl records they didn’t pay for. Records the band and my label could have easily sold. Even after we told Manimal they were in violation of our contract, they refused to give the records back. To boot, Nathalia let us know that they are sitting in a warehouse. Who knows where they are now?

    It got to the point where she claimed we were harassing her, all because we were asking for our legal property back.

    Thanks for this article, Ari. I’m glad someone is shedding light on these people’s disgusting treatment of others.

    Reply
    • Gabi Sifre

      To be fair, Paul responded to me immediately after I posted this and we are now having a more clear conversation than when these incidents originally happened.

      Reply
  22. Just Another Dude

    True, true, and true. They seemed alright at first – even cheery. But then Manimal overpromised, under delivered, and the flaked. I still have some features and emails I am currently waiting on, lol. Can’t believe that Paul threw his own clients under like that. I’m sure that future artists, both established and aspiring, will be avoiding Manimal after this exposé. Good. Glad to see good things from real journalism. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Tyler Bender

      It’s quite clear to me that they’re probably careful enough not to upset well known artists or people they believe could be useful some other time. They then proceed to steal money from the rest.

      Reply
  23. dhenn

    Nice article Ari. I’m asked by other artists all the time who to use. I’ll add these clowns to my existing do NOT use list.

    Reply
  24. PAPERBOi

    ARI U DA BEST, SOMEONE’S GOTTA SHED LIGHT ON THESE THIEVES.
    HATERS GONNA HATE~~~
    PAUL AND NATHALIA SHOULD BE OUT OF THE BIZ
    MANIMAL’S GOT TO GO

    Reply
  25. pc

    Thanks for the heads up on this company, Ari. I use Submithub and probably would’ve run into them eventually.
    I’ve worked with Green Light Go publicity and they were wonderful and kept us informed every step of the way, in realtime on a Google Doc AND with weekly emails and Skype sessions. And this was 2 years ago. I can’t believe this isn’t the norm.

    Reply
  26. PrimoTheBand

    I submitted to Manimal Vinyl on SubmitHub and was contacted by Paul. After a phone call and a few emails, I paid $1000, up front, for the promotion of two assets. After the original conversation, I dealt primarily with Nathalia. They were okay at communicating in the beginning, but the PR was abysmal. The original press release they wrote was riddled with grammatical errors (I basically re-wrote it myself), and the only PR I got was a one sentence write-up on a couple bogus blogs that look as though they were started for the primary purpose of posting fake PR for a fake company. I was annoyed and realized I’d been scammed but hoped to make the best of the situation, finish my PR package, and just call it a day. However, the second asset was never promoted. Some time went by, and at the beginning of October, I emailed them saying I had a Christmas song I’d like to promote. Nathalia responded saying she would get right on it. A few weeks later, I emailed her to check on her progress but heard nothing back. Another week went by, and I emailed her again. She finally responded saying she was going to wait until December to schedule the premiere and that she would have something locked in mid-November. I asked if she could also reach out to the programming people at SiriusXM to see if we could get on a Christmas station (long shot, but I thought I would try), and she said she would get in touch with them. That was six months ago, and I haven’t heard from her or anyone from Manimal since. I emailed her in February asking them to promote my new music video since they never did anything with the Christmas song, but I was ignored again. I’ve since emailed her a couple times and their general information email to no response. After reading this article today, I emailed Paul. I am a nice person. I’m not demanding or entitled or spoiled. I work very hard and don’t have a lot of money to spend on this sort of stuff, but I got the funds together and took a leap. I had never worked with a PR company before and was genuinely excited about the doors it could open for me. To anyone crucifying Ari for shedding light on a very shady company or vehemently defending Manimal, you need to realize that when this many people come forward with the same complaints, there is something to it. A person can be your friend, be a decent person, and still do shitty things. A company can do a good job for you, and a terrible job for someone else. It doesn’t matter that they are a small company, they are taking advantage of people who are even smaller, who are working their asses off and trying to catch a break, who are spending their hard-earned money on a service they never get. This is wrong, plain and simple. I was hesitant to even put my foot down with Manimal for fear they would try to hurt my career in some way, but after seeing how many other people have been scammed and reading that Paul called his clients “entitled,” I’m done. “Entitled” is taking money from people and not delivering. I’ll most definitely be seeking legal action because it’s obvious they have been getting away with this for quite some time.

    Reply
    • PrimoTheBand

      Within a half hour of posting this, I received an email from Nathalia stating they would refund me $500 for the second asset. I will update if/when I receive the refund.

      Reply
      • Tim

        “The original press release they wrote was riddled with grammatical errors (I basically re-wrote it myself), and the only PR I got was a one sentence write-up on a couple bogus blogs that look as though they were started for the primary purpose of posting fake PR for a fake company.”

        We had this same experience. It look as they got a high school intern to type the press release. Spelling errors, etc.

        Reply
  27. Tim

    We worked with them. Decided to quit working with them half way through. Horrible communication. The blog posts they got us were mostly other SubmitHub Users. Would not recommend to anyone. We wish we read this before giving them any money.

    Reply
  28. Ryan

    Yeah, had a terrible experience with them too. did you end receiving any kind of refund from them? it would be shame if they didn’t

    Reply
  29. M

    Thank you for writing this. I used Manimal PR in spring 2017 and felt scammed (or maybe I’m just an entitled brat). I paid $650.00 for a single release. I dealt with Nathalie. Like other people mentioned, she was initially responsive and then dropped off once she got payment. They landed a mediocre premiere and that was it. I tried to follow up but they ignored my e-mails. I get that landing publicity for musicians is hard, but it seems that they don’t try once they’ve got the money.

    Hope this article and comments serve as a warning that no one should use their services.

    Reply

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