Send Me Your Stories

I’m writing today about something that has been stuck in my craw for a while. This weekend, talking to a pal in the business, the concept solidified.

There is too much crap going on in our business. The “Tin Men” still abound. Here we are, trying to sell our industry to the Global 3,000. And we remain extremely vulnerable. Our industry is ridden with porn, spyware, spam and many other practices that foul the waters.

So here is what I propose. Send me your ugly stories. I want to hear about the flim-flam. The bait and switch. The double opt-in that wasn’t. The new technology that was really a whole bunch of interns in the back room (ok, maybe that is not as bad as the others, but you get the point).

If you feel like it, name names. If you can't, that’s ok too. Give me the bad practices at the 10,000-foot level. I will know what to do with them.

I’m going to collect all of this and publish a story, first in MediaPost and eventually to the widest possible audience. It is time to expose all that is bad in our industry to the outside world. Why? We are better off doing it before others do. Our whole industry could go the way of Enron and Arthur Anderson with a couple of accusatory stories in the Wall Street Journal or Business Week where it looks like the industry as a whole endorses these practices. If we reveal them first, we will be much better off.

We’ve been as much of a victim as others. Mediasmith has actually bought “opt-in” e-mail lists that resulted in so much pissed off e-mail to a client that they fired us. Turned out the e-mail list sales people did not even know about the shoddy practices of their management (or said they didn’t). This company has since approached us three different times, each time with a different name!

Since I haven’t gotten all of the stories, I really don’t know if in my final write-up I will name names (risking lawsuits) or only describe practices. But I am determined to try to do something with this. It would be great to come up with a top ten rogues’ gallery of bad practices and revisit this from time to time.

Send the stories back to me via Online Spin. Or, if you want, go around Spin and send it to me directly at smith@mediasmithinc.com. That way, I can sanitize the story prior to publication. If you want to provide me with examples “off the record” I will honor that request. Just give me the dirt!

“Mad as hell and not going to take it any more.”