MACDUFF: Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.
Most sacrilegious murther hath broke ope
The Lord’s anointed temple and stole thence
The life o’ the building.
William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, ACT II, Scene III
Spam comments are a scourge of the internet. Lately, I have received an average of 100 spam comments per day here, most, if not all, caught by the Aksimet spam filter.
All of these generic pharmaceutical products sound wonderful and I am sure they will give lasting relief, in different measure. The prOn spam, though, lacks any creativity or romance. Aside from the link-love frontal assaults, where’s the love?
But I digress.
I also regularly receive unsolicited email invites from marketing firms and self-described ‘freelance writers’ mewling and begging to write guest posts on my blawg. Strangely, none of these earnest requests are from lawyers, law students or anyone remotely interested in law.
Ken White at Popehat, a ‘ shining beacon on the hill’ for First Amendment issues affecting the Blawgosphere, regularly exposes the mediocrity and absurdity of spam comments. In his recent post, Why, I Do Believe I Have Been Subjected To A Note Of Sarcasm!, Ken diplomatically responds to a Canadian law firm that chose to delegate its advertising and marketing to an SEO marketing firm. In an email, Ken writes, in part:
I recently received comment spam promoting your firm at my site. The comment said: [deleted out of misplaced sense of mercy so you won’t Google it.] Yes, it was like that in the original.
Would you like to make any comment before I write about this, as I have written about other comment spammers? (See, e.g., http://www.popehat.com/2011/10/10/too-seldom-is-the-question-asked-who-are-be-defensing-our-criminals/)
In particular, I would like a comment on (1) whether anyone with [Canuk, Snowy & Censorious LLP] authorized this comment spam campaign, and (2) if not, the identity of the marketing firm that conducted it on your behalf.
The law firm’s reply is typically Canadian in its politeness and contrition, if not subtlety. However, the fact that this was “the second complaint we have received” and that the firm “will proceed to terminate their services”, begs the question (Edit: yeah, yeah, not correct in the philosophical or grammatical sense) why they hired a crappy SEO marketing firm in the first place.
This brings me to another example of the Turkewitz-Bennett Law Marketing Axiom:
Outsource Your Marketing, Outsource Your Ethics and Reputation.
You’ll notice Ken @Popehat’s reply that the law firm in question is the same one he wrote about in his post above; although in Ken’s case, they were linking to their GUN LAWYERS page.
This law firm’s website is terrible and this particular flawg post about Attempted Murder is generic, poorly written, self-promotional dreck. Anyone with two fingers could Google “Attempted Murder” and “Canada” and find the same information. It would not be noteworthy, except for the fine-print at the bottom of the website (original brown background changed to black to improve legibility):
Now THAT is an “attempted murder” of one’s reputation, if there ever was one.
My Twitter compatriot and fellow blawger, George Wallace sums it up best: