Ten years ago, I wrote an ebook entitled, “Kickin' Butt & Takin' Names." It was about the shady business practices I was seeing online - and some, even off line.

Since Day 1, I've never hesitated to name names when writing about sleazy internet marketing tactics. It got me into a lot of trouble. Not real trouble - just a lot of back-biting and put-downs for it.

I was nobody, and these were hot-shot internet marketers, and who did I think I was to have an opinion - much LESS judge?

Well, I'll tell you who I was. I had maturity and real life business experience, and I had done something more than deliver pizzas, or work at Thom McCann, before I came online!

I took a stand and refused to have anything to do with the marketers who even waivered in their integrity. Many times, they'd pat some sleaze-ball on the butt simply because that marketer made so much money.

Money was the gauge. I saw it time, after time, after time.

About three years ago, I read "Internet Marketing Sins" by Sylvie Fortin. I loved the report and even said, at one time, I wished I had written it. The only difference would have been that I would have named names. Sylvie didn't.

And, yet, she STILL caught flack from some internet marketers! Some even argued with her - as if they were denying what she wrote. HA! Deny all day long, Jack-leg. The lady wrote the truth!

Last week, Ryan Healy wrote about some internet low-life on his blog and he DID name names. People are pounding him on the back, telling him what a good and courageous guy he is, as if this has never been done before.

It even caused Sylvie and her husband, Michel Fortin, to explain WHY Sylvie had kept names to herself - as if they'd done a bad thing! It was really quite simple. They were trying to teach the consumer what to look for and what to avoid. They were NOT trying to put anyone on a cross.

Me? I like crosses. If you're being unethical, you deserve to be outed. But, that's just MY opinion.

As I mentioned to a friend last week, I've even opened my mouth and inserted my foot. But, when I do, those of you who have read me for years know I apologize, clean up any mess - and we all move on.

Then, there's the problem of libel. PPFFFFFTT! Any marketer would be a fool to try to sue someone who wrote about exactly what the marketer is doing - and can prove it. Not only that, they'd have to be able to prove exactly how much money the writer cost them.

Otherwise, no decent attorney would touch it - knowing it couldn't be won. Of course, we also have the shysters who would take the case just to make the hourly fees for a nuisance suit.

Them, I know how to handle - but I digress ...

We all have different ways of doing things. We all have different motivations for what we do. We may have certain knowledge that determines how far we can go. That doesn't make any of us wrong, or stupid or uninformed. Just different.

I am glad to see someone besides me finally find their cojones. But, I'll also add ... Be very careful naming names unless you know exactly what you're doing - and how to do it!

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Naming Names

Good for you for naming names. I posted about this on my blog this week on "The Virtue of Whistleblowing".

I think it's always better to name names in order to protect all prospects who have no clue what's going on.

If I had known about you, I would have definitely made sure to include you in my post.

Keep it up.

Naming Names

Thanks, Carlon. At one time, we called this newsletter "The iCop Whistleblower." I did a lot more of it then, but it all seems to be coming back around.

My biggest challenge now, though, is whether to announce the names of all the bottom feeders who use the iCop seal illegally.

I will be spending the biggest part of this day reporting some of them to their web hosts. UGH!

:-( jl

jl scott, ph.d., Director: Chamber of Commerce - on the Web

tlcpro's picture


In the last two years, I have found myself as the victim of libel. A person wrote blog posts and sent emails to my associates, smearing my name with unfounded accusations, half truths and outright lies. She damaged my reputation and I lost business. I went to the DA with it and reams of paper to prove what she'd done.

The DA was chicken shit about taking on her First Amendment right to free speech, even though her speech was defamatory and untrue. I could prove what she'd done and the malice behind it. But all that was done about it was this: A deputy sheriff went to visit her and told her to stop. That was it! I was outraged. She had committed a Class 5 felony, and she was going to get away with it.

Being that I could not afford to hire a lawyer and file a civil suit, she successfully trashed me and my business. I was making good money as a copywriter, and now I make nothing. I haven't had a new client since she began her written assault on my character.

She had no proof of the lies she spread, and apparently didn't need any.

It's okay to name names as long as you have the proof to back up your allegations.

Be careful. My professional life was ruined by this person who had no proof.

Trina L.C. Sonnenberg
Freelance Commercial writer


I am so very sorry you had to go through that. I also understand your frustration!

And, I'm not for a minute saying you shouldn't have tried to get her butt kicked. I know I would have wanted to!

But, it is a very difficult (and, often gray) legal area where, usually one of only two things happen:

1) A huge company WILL file a defamation suit. They have the money - and the attorneys on staff - to back down anyone smaller than they are.

2) A little guy can just spit in the wind. Nobody wants to fool with those suits due to the difficulty coming to decisions - but, most of all, because there's no money in it.

jl scott, ph.d., Director: Chamber of Commerce - on the Web

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