Business guru tries to silence bloggers over 'misleading' mailshot
ASA aware and investigating
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. ®
I'm not giving in
If you do a search on Google for either "Chris Cardell" or the much more popular search phrase "Chris Cardell scam", you'll find my article: "ASA investigate Chris Cardell newspaper cutting 'scam'".
I would, on a typical day, attract upwards of 60 page views for that article and since getting the dubious sales letter from him in April, I've had thousands of visits from Google.
As you can imagine, I was hurting Cardell. As such, I was issued with a cease and desist order. I've not removed the article, but instead placed a temporary notice explaining that I'm looking into the legality of their claims. If I'm within my rights and it's determined that I am acting in the interests of the public, the article returns in full, with all of the 50 comments of angry complaints against Cardell.
I've also written an open letter to him, which is frank and rather damning of his exceptionally deceptive tactics. If that's deemed legal, that goes live, too.
I've reported him to Trading Standards and since having a look through the Fraud Act of 2006, his letter does at least pass the first question posed in section 3 of that act, so I've reported him to the police for fraud.
Spam, hit the complaints with C&D notices?
And, uhm, why would anybody in the UK honour US-based C&D lawyery spam?
Sounds like a nice abuse of law countersuit to me.
is a junk mailer peddling a worthless product - is that what people think?
used an advertising campaign that the asa judged to be deceitful and misleading, did they?
his lawyers Preovolos & Associates are intimidating bloggers who make fair comment about chris cardell and his product, are they?
people think that if the product was any good chris cardell wouldn't use deceitful methods of advertising do they?
I have a foolproof method for becoming penniless, if anyone wants to buy it...