Ozy Media executives did more than just impersonate YouTube employees as they sought to squeeze money out of Goldman Sachs.
The Wall Street giant — which reportedly was treated to a bizarre conference call with Ozy’s operating chief, who posed as a YouTube exec as he angled for a fresh cash infusion — is also among the A-list advertisers that recently got hosed buying ads with the digital startup, The Post has learned.
In the last month, insiders say David Solomon’s bank spent nearly $300,000 on a new advertising partnership with Ozy, which last week went up in flames over a series of scandals that also included lying about getting cash from Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne.
Goldman has put the deal, described as a “trial program” that’s a small part of the bank’s ad budget, “on pause,” according to a source close to the bank. This person adds the money is not all gone and that Goldman was sending the money in installments.
Nevertheless, it’s not the first time Goldman got duped by the doomed media company, according to one insider, who notes that “institutional knowledge” appears to have mysteriously evaporated when it comes to Ozy.
Around six years ago, Goldman spent more than $20,000 to place ads in Ozy’s newsletter over the course of a month in the hopes of boosting the number of subscribers to the Goldman Sachs newsletter “Briefings,” the sources said.
At the time, Goldman bankers liked the company and pressured the marketing team to do the deal even though some marketers were skeptical about Ozy’s promises, sources said.
It didn’t go well.
“Ozy claimed they had hundreds of thousands of subscribers to their newsletter and that if we advertised with them we’d see an influx of new subscribers,” one source told The Post.
“There were a lot of big promises made . . . we maybe got a dozen subscribers over the course of the month.”
In trying to explain the odd saga, some point to the fact that Ozy co-founders Carlos Watson and Samir Rao (the fake YouTube guy) are both Goldman alums. Watson helped create Goldman’s “Insights the Builders + Innovators Summit” while he was at the bank.
Goldman representatives declined to comment. Ozy reps didn’t respond to requests for comment.
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