Three former employees of The Knot have blown thy whitsle. Jennifer Croom Davidson, former Global Fashion Director; Rachel LaFera, former Director of Fine Jewelry; and Cindy Croom Elley, former Account Executive at The Knot, have since left, are out from under NDA, and they’re truth-telling about one of the world’s largest wedding industry companies: The Knot Worldwide.

The Knot Worldwide is the current name of the parent company of WeddingWire, The Knot, The Bump, Hitched (which formerly had a presence in Australia, and disclosure, yours truly was a paid writer for them), a series of localised wedding directory websites through The Americas and Europe, and the Real Weddings TV show. They started as an AOL channel in 1996 and went to the open web in ‘97, and just before the dot com bubble burst they raised $35 million in their first IPO.

Since then lots of corporate shit has occurred, most of which bores me as someone who prefers to be on the “tools” in the wedding industry, not in the C-suite, but the trio dropped the bomb on The Lioness in an extremely detailed expose revealing that advertisers don’t get what they’re paying for and the whole business is terribly run.

This internal chatter among The Knot Worldwide’s customers is confirmed by looking at currently available web review sites; to this day, you can see complaints of contracts unfulfilled and impossible to get out of, and torrents of fake and spam leads. A recent Business Insider article also reveals that things are still amiss, reporting that 70–80 percent of the company’s leads are scams and that little to no inbound results from their advertising.

PetaPixel sums it up well:

Whistleblowers within the company say the supposed “swindling” issues began with vendors who purchased premium ads with the promise of generating new client leads, but instead were delivered spam content and even lost rankings within The Knot’s own ad-based search results.

The enshittification of the internet spares no person and knows no bounds. It is sad to see one of the few companies that made it through the dot com bubble to be revealed as rotten.