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Business guru tries to silence bloggers over 'misleading' mailshot

ASA aware and investigating

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A marketing mailshot, similar to one described as misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority in April, is reappearing in British offices across the country - and bloggers who complain are getting hit with threatening legal letters.

The missive from Cardell Media looks like a handwritten envelope containing an article torn from a newspaper and a Post-It note. The note says: "David, I saw this and thought of you. This guy is brilliant. Have a look at his website". The guy in question is Chris Cardell whose website describes him "as one of the world’s leading authorities on Entrepreneurial Success and Advanced Thinking".

The ASA ruled in April that a similar letter was misleading because it did not make clear it was marketing guff. The ASA told Cardell Media not to use the ad again.

But bloggers writing about any of this have been hit with cease and desist notices from Cardell's US lawyers. The threatening letter is enough for most to remove their posts - a quick Google will reveal various missing stories, some still cached by the search giant.

One such letter seen by the Reg claims copyright over any use of the name Chris Cardell and warns about "your website's post 'Junk Mail by Chris Cardell' which unlawfully infringes upon the intellectual property of rights of the Cardell Media Family".

The letter, sent from San Diego lawyers Preovolos & Associates, demands that posts mentioning Cardell be removed and no further postings made.

A spokesman for the ASA told us that it was well aware that Cardell Media was ignoring its earlier ruling.

He said: "We've not had complaints but our investigators do follow up to check companies are following our rulings. We're working with various partners to try and get this stopped.

"We can also look at other sanctions - like getting their mass mailing discounts removed and work with other regulators and trade bodies."

We've emailed and left messages at Cardell Media with no success.

The ASA ruling is here.

Thank you to Garve Scott-Lodge from Plexus Media for the tip-off. ®

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