It’s Wednesday Morning, and DUI Hotline Network Still Sucks.
Just yesterday I wrote about DUI Hotline Network’s comment spam program, and the lawyers who are responsible for it.
Today I had three more spam comments either from email@example.com or from firstname.lastname@example.org with links to a “duihotline.com” website — in these instances, the website for New Jersey firm Levow and Associates:
Kevin email@example.com | 22.214.171.124 Those people who are are engaged in high profile cases are a shear waste for society but very important and useful for lawyers. From Thus Spake Brian, 2008/12/03 at 6:29 AM 2008/12/03 Approve | Spam | Delete Mike, Brain http://www.. . . .com/ | firstname.lastname@example.org | 126.96.36.199 Wow, dude. You just took a big leap up in my esteem of you. I read your blog just out of curiosity since I’m an ex-con. I take back all the things I said applied to ALL lawyers. From Memo to Non-Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2008/12/03 at 4:56 AM 2008/12/03 Approve | Spam | Delete Mike, Brain http://www.. . . .com/ | email@example.com | 188.8.131.52 Some of those marketers are undoubtedly familiar conversant with the ethical rules governing lawyers, and are looking out as much for their clients’ reputations as their clients would themselves. From Internet Marketing for Lawyers: Here Be Dragons!, 2008/12/03 at 4:36 AM
The text from the second comment spam is from a non-spam comment on the same post; the text from the third is from the “Here Be Dragons” post itself (which, strangely enough, was a post critical of the DUI Hotline Network program.
I made the point yesterday that DUI Hotline Network isn’t selling itself as a comment spammer, but rather as a network of interlocking websites. It occurs to me that those who have paid DUI Hotline Network for this service probably have a deceptive trade practices claim against the company for their unhelpful — indeed, harmful — comment spamming.
I realize that I’m fighting a losing rearguard action here against comment spammers. With the proliferation of blatant marketing blawgs written by people who care more about their search engine ranking than about providing quality product (inescapably a metaphor for their law practices), there will be more and more blawgers who welcome any comment, even spam, to make their prose appear worthy of reading. The Vikrams of the world will, in the end, win.
But one of the lessons that every criminal-defense lawyer should learn is that often the losing battles are worth fighting.
[Edit: I talked with Bryce Ayres, boss of DUI Hotline Network. He denies that anyone is comment-spamming on behalf of his company, but leaves open the possibility that someone in India whom he hired to do legitimate SEO might be acting outside the scope of his employment. To me this illustrates further the danger of hired-gun marketing for lawyers: if Bryce — the SEO boss — can’t keep people he has paid from comment-spamming without his consent, how can Joe the Lawyer?]
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