Savvy Speaks: No Good, Low Down Underhanded Marketing Tactics

Savvy Speaks: No Good, Low Down Underhanded Marketing Tactics
Savvy Sisters - Wed Sep 14, 2011 @ 02:01AM
Comments: 9

We all know that sometimes, and in some circles, marketing has a bad rep. We Savvy Sisters like to think that's it's mostly due to late night infomercials, but if we are honest with ourselves, we have all seen some underhanded marketing tactics over the years. Here are our (least) favorite:


Flotsam and Jetsam 


I live in New Hampshire. Marketing of your political candidate is a state sport up here, it's something we have to put up with every two years for the local elections and every four years for the presidential ones. With the GOP primary on the radar this year, you can bet that deceptive marketers are in full swing. Their candidate is, after all, their product that must be sold.


There is not one person who does not complain about the telephone calls and political mail we constantly get. Political endorsements disguised as polls. (Would you say that this candidate's ineffectiveness in the fight for xxx is a positive or negative thing?)


Sigh, like the black flies in the summer, we all sort of learn to put up with the political flotsam and jetsam. It's just part of what it means to live in New Hampshire.  


It's called "opt" in people!

The other day I got one of those social coupon deals in my inbox that was too good to pass up. When I went to snag it, I fully expected to have to fill out all kinds of personal, irrelevant information to get it. Sigh.

But when I went to check out, the sneeky so-n-so's had bundled their email "opt in" with their terms and conditions, forcing everyone who buys a deal from them to agree to get bombarded with their marketing emails.

I thought "forced opt in" went out in the mid-90's. And there's a reason why. I went in and unsubscribed immediately, which was (thankfully) pretty easy to do. But the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth, and I wil not be buying from them again. Too many other deal providers out there are on the up-and-up with their email practices.




Nobody likes fine print - especially when it's riddled with sneaky, little loopholes that give a brand legal (if not moral) rights to get up to underhanded shenanigans. Whatever I'm producing - web copy, an e-book, text for an auto-responder email - clarity and honesty are always very high on my list of goals.


Not so with everyone out there. I recently posted here and on my Suddenly Marketing blog about a Marketing Fail that I fell for and which might easily have cost me some of my own credibility had I not decided to open my big mouth and spill the beans on what I thought was a very manipulative tactic for increasing a member base.


Shady marketing is never worth it, people. Even though it might result in a short-term win, the long-term damage is often irreparable.  



Spam, spam, spam


We Savvy Sisters have seen our fair share of spam comments left on our blog, some thinly veiled as legit, others just blatantly pointing to websites hawking replica watches, home loans, escort services, and even good ol’ SEO services. As our Savvy Sister Kate so aptly put it: “Do they really think you will want to buy something from them if they have to fool you THAT much to get you to their site?”


Have you seen any marketing moves so underhanded you wanted to call in the National Guard?


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