View Full Version : Nasty, disgusting, low-life slug!!!

06-04-2009, 09:04 PM
Yeah, I'm a bit ticked right now...

I've been working very closely with a local client on their marketing campaigns and projects.

It's a long, long story of underhanded dealings and nastiness, involving theft of intellectual property and deliberately trying to destroy the customer base of my client...

So...last month we launched an original campaign that took me hours to conceive of and refine.

This month, the copy I wrote, that I slaved over and tweaked - well there it is in all it's glory...promoting the competitor.

And I know it's not theft in the traditional sense, and once a campaign is in the public, it can be copied and co-opted by the competition...

Doesn't make the burning rage any less intense. Not for the moment anyway (I'll calm down later once I can come up with another campaign to blow him out of the water)

I know only desperate people with no creativity of their own have to resort to these levels...

I'm still ticked though.

06-04-2009, 09:25 PM
business is rough.....isnt there anything legally you can do? even sending a letter from a Lawyer w/ a threat may stop this....Scare them

06-04-2009, 09:36 PM
Nope, he's slippery and operates just one step this side of legal in the way he does things.

I found out recently that he has quite the history and this is not the first business he has targeted with his tactics.

But...the assuring thought here is that he cannot possibly succeed. Oh he may be annoying like a mosquito...and he may hold on for a while...but he doesn't really stand a chance if he just copies my ideas...we'll always be first. This is a small town, people will catch on. It's only a matter of time.

06-04-2009, 11:26 PM
Sorry to hear about that kind of slime. Is there anyway you can fake him out, like writing a phony campaign for him to steal and then replace it with a real one? Is there something you can do that he couldn't duplicate?

06-04-2009, 11:49 PM
I could probably leak a fake campaign to town blabbermouths...and that would bring satisfaction in it's own way.

But I think the putting my head to work and figuring out the things I can do that there is no chance in Hades that he could ever replicate easily. It really shouldn't be hard...I've got a lot of experience in a lot of diverse areas.

I underestimated him with this campaign. It was easily copied. It was just a simple idea put to words really. I've got more tools in the box that I can pull out...I've just got to figure out the which ones will be most effective -not to bring him down, but to put my client on top for the target market.

We already have several ideas on the drawing board, we just hadn't gotten to the next step yet...

Time to take it up a notch I guess.

I just found this out at about 4pm today. So I'll be down at my client's office first thing tomorrow to come up with a workable game plan.

06-05-2009, 12:18 AM
Good idea to take the high road. I know the first response is to get angry and let off steam, but once that passes it's best to go out and do better for your client in a way he can't copy.

06-05-2009, 12:38 AM
Yeah, it doesn't get me or the client any good to hold on to negative energy. We'll just use it to spur us to be better...no point to it, won't make us money or win us clients.

The kicker is -- if it wasn't a competitor who followed the trend we would've been all over it, publicly congratulating them through our press contacts and so on. It was my thought that we'd roll out the program at the one location and then try to get other businesses to adopt a similar program.

I think that's why it was so hard to see it copied like that...because it sort of messes up the alignment for the next step.

Oh well...I'll find a workaround.

06-05-2009, 11:43 AM
If they copied your text word for word and only replaced the names, then you can go after them in a civil suit for copyright theft. Just because something is availble to the public does not mean it is free for the public to use as they wish.

Of course if they changed the wording and only paraphrased, you are out of luck.

06-05-2009, 11:46 AM
Is there any way to get some mileage for yourself and/or your client through your "press contacts?" I think there is--

What if it becomes publicly known that this was an idea you developed for ABCclient Co. that you pulled because you had created something better that will be out shortly. Nevertheless, you are happy that XYZthief Co. found it could be useful for them.

06-05-2009, 03:47 PM
Is there any way to get some mileage for yourself and/or your client through your "press contacts?" I think there is--

What if it becomes publicly known that this was an idea you developed for ABCclient Co. that you pulled because you had created something better that will be out shortly. Nevertheless, you are happy that XYZthief Co. found it could be useful for them.

Yes, there is a way I could spin it to our benefit, but after running the potentials - I think it's better to ignore it and roll on to the next major campaign - doing anything about the "stolen" promotion will have the side effect of bringing attention to his business. Better to push on like a steamroller with the next project that will give everyone in town something else to talk about.

Yeah I was ticked last night, but I am so over it now.

I simply don't have time to stay mad...there's a reason I'm an award winning marketer and no one can steal my thunder for long :-)

Vivid Color Zack
06-05-2009, 04:59 PM
Can you lay it all out for us without giving away too much?

I'm sure others are curious about exactly what happened.

06-05-2009, 07:30 PM
I have no problems sharing the details of the campaign.

The campaign that was copied was quite basic. It's the simplicity of it that makes it work so well really.

And I personally think it is based on a great premise and I have no concerns about anyone taking the idea and making it their own. It is just this particular competitor using it that steams me because of the backstory behind the rivalry between my client and this particular competitor.

For every purchase made at the business, 2% of the sale goes to a community organization (charity/non-profit) of the buyers choice from a list of organizations registered with the business.

One of the challenges with being a small business owner of any type in a small town is the many community organizations who walk in wanting donations, sponsorship and so on. Of course, it's hard to decide which ones to give to and which ones to pass on and when to stop giving when it gets to be too much. So we set up this program so that my clients wouldn't have to say "No" but would be protected from giving away too much.

There were other strategic factors involved too...but that's the gist of it.

We launched the program at the local Trade Show and sent out press releases in advance of the announcement and included it in their advertising through the month of May to encourage non-profits to sign up and start getting clients used to telling them who they want the 2% donated to.

06-06-2009, 12:00 AM
One of my clients had something similar happen - she owns a Just Between Friends franchise in the area and some people thought she was making money hand over fist so decided to start their own consignment sale - copying most of the marketing and ideas behind the JBF franchise.

JBF's lawyers sent threatening letters and the copycats changed the wording enough to get past the copyright infringement stuff. But for my client the problem remained that they rented the same space, donated to the same charity and etc... so we found a better location and additional charities to benefit and some more marketing options and at the last sale she about a 30% increase in sales from the previous sale so I think it's working... :)

06-06-2009, 07:03 AM
I've had this kind of thing happen to me too in the past. It's always hard and my first instinct is always to get angry, but then I do what you did, Patrysha, and just figure out how to be better, and make things harder to steal, the next time. Unfortunately there will always be people who steal ideas and creative and content. It's too bad really, but that's they way it is.