New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Marketing, Odds and Ends


March 23rd, 2009

A Deadly Plane Crash Turns Into An Instant "Win an iPhone" Contest

It’s enough to make you vomit. The proliferation of marketers who will do anything in the spirit of Internet marketing.

So late last night a plane crashes in Montana killing 17 14 people. Horrible by any standard.

I Googled “Montana Plane Crash” as part of my continuing look at lawyers and marketing on the web and found a Google Adword link that looks like this (pdf version/MontanaPlaneCrashSearch.pdf):

Montana Plane Crash
Who’s fault is it? Give us your
opinion and get an iPhone

There are 17 dead people and grieving families and someone is running a contest to win an iPhone? Please, say it ain’t so. I click and go to the website (/MontanaPlaneCrashiPhone.pdf):

Montana plane crash kills 17, including children

Montana Plane Crash – Who is at Fault?
Tell Us What You Think
and win an iPhone!

The Pilot and Crew! It is just an Accident!

So I went to the home page for the domain (, and found it to be pitching Internet marketing services like this (/JosephThenWebMarketing.pdf):

Discover How You Can Generate
An Avalanche of Traffic to Your Website in Just 3 Weeks!

Established Internet Marketer Spills Out Everything in Traffic Generation and How YOU can Get the Traffic you Want!

The author of the book and owner of the site is Joseph Then.

So thank you Joe, for your invaluable contributions to society. The bereaved will no doubt be grateful to you.

3 thoughts on “A Deadly Plane Crash Turns Into An Instant "Win an iPhone" Contest

  1. Kudos to you for staying on top of this unfortunately recurring tactic of trolling for victims of tragedies. What you have uncovered now appears to be a new low. How low can they go?
    # posted by Anonymous John Hochfelder : March 23, 2009 12:43 PM

  2. Oddly enough, his trolling has nothing to do with the accident. There are no services being provided relative to it.

    It appears simply as a device to use the accident to get people to look at the title of his book.

    Perhaps I gave him what he wanted in that regard, but I don’t think anyone would buy his book having seen what he is doing.
    # posted by Blogger Eric Turkewitz : March 23, 2009 12:47 PM

  3. The marketer/advertiser might be pulling data from Google Trends ( to automatically create AdWord advertisements.

    I don’t think it makes this situation excusable. But, at least, explainable.

    Seems like a pretty reckless way to get traffic.
    # posted by Anonymous David Carson : April 01, 2009 3:49 PM