New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Law Practice, Marketing, Spam


January 9th, 2009

Why is SimmonsCooper Spamming My Blog? (Updated)

Every blogger gets spam. I expect it from the various hustlers who permeate the web. But I didn’t really expect it from a law firm. From a big law firm.

SimmonsCooper* is a personal injury firm in Illinois. They focus on asbestos litigation and the disease it causes, mesothelioma. According to their web site, they have 17 partners and 39 associates and of counsel talent on hand, so this isn’t a small shop.
But apparently SimmonsCooper thinks it would be a mighty fine idea to send spam advertising to my blog in the comments area.
The first message came in January 2nd, and I deleted it and ignored their transgression. Then they did it again today. The post they were spamming was a September 17, 2007 piece on the Graves Amendment and immunity for car renting/leasing companies. Not a lot there about asbestos, I’ll tell you that. But that didn’t stop them from posting this drivel: If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with blah, blah, blah.
Note to SimmonsCooper: That’s pretty scummy stuff. It’s also a waste of your time and resources because:
1. The note is old and unlikely to be read by many;
2. Those that do read it aren’t looking for an asbestos attorney; and
3. You get zero Google juice out of it because my blog, like others, has a “do not follow” command for the comments area so that spammers don’t waste their time polluting our little publications.
If you want to advertise your services, go ahead. Knock yourself out. It’s legal because of that First Amendment thingie. I’ve got a web site too. Nothing wrong with that concept. I have to hope that any lawyer that does advertise will do so in a dignified manner.
But sending spam to my blog is not dignified.
Now I’m going to take a guess here and say that SimmonsCooper hired some idiotic SEO company to spread their name around. Perhaps they are ignorant of the fouls being committed in their name, or perhaps they are simply turning a blind eye to what their agents are doing in their name. Perhaps they are just shocked, shocked, I tell you, that their agents would behave in such a slimy manner.
I can only hope they pick their experts in a better fashion than the people who do their marketing.
* Link is via a TinyUrl redirect so that the spammer doesn’t profit from any Google juice due to this posting.

After posting this, I receive an apologetic call from Mark Motley at SimmonsCooper. He told me that they did not approve of what had been done in their name and were embarrassed by the spam.

I’ve previously written of the risks of lawyers outsourcing their web marketing to others, in the context of those horrid attorney search services (The Ethics of Attorney Search Services). There is a danger not just on the ethics front, but on the reputation front when SEO companies sing their own praises to get your business, and then do trashy things in your name.

Motley sent on to me this email, which he asked that I publish:

Thanks for your time today on the phone. It was a pleasure meeting you.
As you and I discussed, SimmonsCooper does not have anything to do with
the spam commenting you refer to in your blog. We do not approve of
spam commenting. We have a blog ourselves and frequently receive those
sorts of messages as well. I’m sorry to have met you under these
circumstances but am glad to have found your blog. Keep up the good

Mark Motley
SimmonsCooper LLC

Links to this post:

Sixteen Rules for Lawyers Who (Think They) Want to Market Online
1. If you’re looking for The Promised Land, you’re in the wrong place. This is the Wild West, Pilgrim. 2. There are clients online—sophisticated, moneyed clients—but they don’t find lawyers the way you think they do.
posted by Mark Bennett @ November 16, 2009 10:15 PM

3 thoughts on “Why is SimmonsCooper Spamming My Blog? (Updated)

  1. Eric- I can sympathize. Although I have not been spammed in the same way, a web company has been offering potential clients of mine (i.e., anyone who googles my name) coupons to pay for my legal services! The company never contacted me to discuss their coupon idea, and I would not have even known of it had I not come across the ads myslelf. Though I’ve asked them to stop, they naturally haven’t. This is worse than spamming, I believe, because some web surfers may assume that I actually implemented such advertising.

  2. What I can never figure out is why they do it. Your reasons not to do so notwithstanding, I think there is a reason for it that you and I just don’t get. Because it goes on too often to be a misguided waste of energy.