It's Time To Ask: Have We Adequately Investigated The Link Between Attorney Comment Spam And Masturbation-Aid Devices?

Law Practice

I've quoted Eric Turkewitz many, many times when discussing comment spam: when you outsource your legal marketing, you outsource your reputation and your ethics.

Today's example: John L. Davis PLLC, a law firm in Vancouver, Washington. Recently someone left the following comment spam on this post:

Right here is the perfect site for anyone who wishes to find out about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that's been written about for a long time. Great stuff, just excellent!

Now, while it's technically true that the post that drew this comment might establish that it is tough to argue with me, I rather quickly identified this as spam.

The comment spam had a spam link back to the Davis site. Here's a screenshot. Click to enlarge:

Google shows us that this same insipid comment text is popular, and has been used frequently for a variety of spam subjects. This might mean that it is "stock text" contained in some spam software, or that some particular marketing subcontractor favors it, or that it is on a list of suggested spam comments on some forum frequented by ESL spammers.

I note, for instance, that the exact same comment language is being used on this thread at a dance studio to promote something called the "Autoblow," a masturbation-aid device. Click to enlarge:

Now, I am not suggesting that the law firm John L. Davis PLLC of Vancouver, Washington is deliberately associating itself with masturbation devices. Not that there's something wrong if they were. (I mean, times are tough in the legal field. Those things have to throw off some patent, trademark, and personal injury work.) Nor am I suggesting that the Davis firm had a brainstorming session about online marketing at which someone said "you know what advertising campaign REALLY works for me? The Autoblow."

Nope, I seriously doubt anyone at the Davis firm decided that comment spamming was a good way to promote their credibility. Rather, I think that they hired a marketeer to conduct "search engine optimization" or "online marketing" or the like, and failed to supervise that marketeer or grasp what they were doing, and the marketeer outsourced some of the work to someone who tried to promote the Davis firm using the same comment-spam methods — in fact, the exact same text — also used for a masturbation device.

When you hire a marketeer to do anything remotely related to the internet, and you don't understand what they are doing, and you don't watch them like a hawk, this will happen to you. When you outsource your marketing to the modern snake-oil salesmen, you outsource your reputation and ethics, until both will auto-blow.

I sent an inquiry to the Davis firm seeking comment and got no response. I offer them what I offer all such firms: apologize for the comment spam, and identify the marketeers responsible, and I'll scrub the post of mentions of you.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. eddie  •  Mar 14, 2012 @10:02 am

    Bottom of the first page on Google already, and sure to climb higher.

  2. Turk  •  Mar 14, 2012 @10:13 am

    Heh. Heh. You wrote "click to enlarge."

    So that's how it works.

  3. Antonin I. Pribetic  •  Mar 14, 2012 @10:14 am

    Auto-Blow is a sure-fire law marketing meme for the ages.

  4. shg  •  Mar 14, 2012 @10:36 am

    The comment was a heart-felt expression of deep appreciation by the John L. Davis Law firm in Vancouver, Washington, handling Real estate and related litigation including title issues, boundary disputes, survey issues, commercial and residential leasing, commercial and residential purchase & sale agreements, foreclosures, construction disputes, lien disputes, homeowners association disputes, all aspects of business organizations and business related litigation including contracts, business formations, the sale and purchase of all types of businesses, the representation of family businesses as well as closely held corporations and limited liability companies, shareholders rights and remedies, and drafting all forms of general business documents including buy-sell agreements and non-compete/non-solicit agreements, all types of general litigation including debt collection, general contract disputes, and breach of warranty and other agreements, dDissolution of marriages with and without children, modification of child support and parenting plans, and parentage actions, most felony and misdemeanor criminal areas such as DUI, Assault DV, Disorderly conduct, Fraud, Theft, Drug possession & delivery.

    How dare you question our motives when all we want to do is show you the love.

  5. Ken  •  Mar 14, 2012 @10:40 am

    I don't need that love any more, now that they have led me to the Auto-blow.

  6. Antonin I. Pribetic  •  Mar 14, 2012 @10:41 am

    P.S. You owe Canadian lawyers an apology. We would never outsource our marketing and our ethics in such a way. Just ask Mark C. Robins.

  7. Jamison  •  Mar 14, 2012 @11:18 am

    If you didn't realize it was spam initially, the tipoff came when the comment congratulated you on your "[g]reat stuff, just excellent!"

    For your site, that is. For my site, well, I would have accepted it as a legitimate comment and approved it. Thank God someone can appreciate true talent.

  8. Scott Jacobs  •  Mar 14, 2012 @12:04 pm

    Nor am I suggesting that the Davis firm had a brainstorming session about online marketing at which someone said "you know what advertising campaign REALLY works for me? The Autoblow."

    Let me just say that whoever might have suggested that, I wouldn't sit anywhere near them.

    Sharing an office would be right out.

  9. h4x354x0r  •  Mar 14, 2012 @4:55 pm

    My blog used to get pounded by comments like that. It's just brute-force testing to see which blogs will publish the seemingly innocuous comments, so they know they can come back and post more. I call it "Trial Balloon" spam.

    Like a newbie idiot back in the day, I approved the very first one that came across my blog, and spent the next roughly year having to shitcan hundreds of them, before they finally stopped.

    If your blog has any popularity (mine doesn't, Popehat obviously does), the trial-balloon spam will likely never stop. Best wishes, I know it's a PITA.

  10. Scott Jacobs  •  Mar 14, 2012 @7:13 pm

    I note, for instance, that the exact same comment language is being used on this thread at a dance studio to promote something called the "Autoblow," a masturbation-aid device. Click to enlarge:

    No pun intended.

  11. AlphaCentauri  •  Mar 15, 2012 @1:43 pm

    I have it on good authority that one of the most popular software programs for posting comment spam comes preloaded with the URLs of various forums and blogs. Once you're on that list, there's no unsubscribing. They routine try to spam our antispam forum, which as you can imagine, can only end in tears.

  12. andrews  •  Mar 17, 2012 @9:25 am

    one of the most popular software programs for posting comment spam

    Might as well try to enlighten me now; it's a fool's errand but someone has to do it and you are elected.

    What other kind of programs are out there for posting comment spam beyond "software programs"?

  13. AlphaCentauri  •  Mar 18, 2012 @10:00 am

    "Might as well try to enlighten me now"

    You know it, and I know it. But a lot of people reading this blog might not be aware that spammers purchase software from programmers who make a living writing and supporting products to allow spammers with minimal computer skills to commit computer crimes that would otherwise be beyond their abilities. I thought it required clarification for that reason.