Honest marketers, honest lawyers, and other mythical beasts.

2004-01-22 02:53

One of the things that I think is a problem is the way we get cynical. Cynical is easy. Cynical is what you get when you get burned too often.

I have talked to a lot of marketers; when time allows, I try to contact companies which are spamming me and find out what they think they’re doing, and maybe help educate them as to what they’re actually doing.

Time and time again, they’ve turned out to be dishonest. They have been people who just don’t understand why everyone makes such a big deal about truth, or what other peoples’ property rights have to do with their junk faxing or spam campaign. They don’t care, and they don’t see why they should, and indeed, they have a very big reason not to; insofar as they seem to have any moral code at all, it seems to be one of contempt for anything that would stand between them and any increase in profits.

Everyone hears all the lawyer stories, so there’s no surprises to be had there, right? Lawyers are sneaky, dishonest, and manipulative; they coach their clients to lie, they try to abuse the court system, and so on.

What’s starting to happen is I’m starting to realize just how horrifically wrong these stereotypes are. It’s not that I’ve never seen a dishonest lawyer, and I’ve probably talked to fifty or more dishonest marketers.

It’s that I’ve started meeting the honest ones, and I’ve started wondering if they aren’t more common than I previously suspected.

With that thought in mind, I call your attention to an honest marketer; Paul Myers. He runs a site called TalkBiz News. Reading his company policies and privacy policy is refreshing. They’re written in English, and they actually say something meaningful. This is a guy who understands marketing well enough to do a good job of it, and to have successfully taught other people to do it well, and yet, he doesn’t like spam. That’s probably not as unusual as it seems, but after weeks and months and years of DMA headlines about how marketers want more protection against anything that could be done to stop them from spamming, well… It sure is a nice thing to see.

I think I’m going to have another go at assuming that marketers are likely to be honest again. I’ll presumably get burned occasionally, but I think maybe the honest people will appreciate being treated a little better for a while.

Peter Seebach

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