In recent weeks we were notified that inappropriate comments were posted to a number of legal blogs on behalf of Martindale-Hubbell. Although we did not see or approve these messages in advance, we take responsibility for the error, as the blog comments were generated by an agency working on our behalf. Our team, here in the UK office, engaged an agency to help us drive traffic back up on our Martindale-Hubbell UK site. SEO was a core component of this program as a new content management system (CMS) had caused significant issues with our organic rankings. What set out to be a routine re-assessment of traffic generation, turned sour.
It was our understanding that we would get to approve everything the agency did on our behalf. Unfortunately in this instance that did not take place. The agency we worked with, or an agent acting on their behalf, posted some non-contextual comments without our knowledge.
We do not condone spamming under any circumstances, and once we discovered that these generic posts had gone out we immediately instructed the agency to halt all work on the project, and we have subsequently stopped working with them. We have also requested that the agency provide us with a list of all blogs affected so that they can be contacted individually.
There is absolutely NO legitimate reason or benefit to us from spamming sites. We’ve learned an important (and somewhat painful) lesson about working with 3rd parties, but we’re confident that this lesson is one that will help us in the long run, even if it stings a little right now.
It is also important to note that we never outsourced “attorney marketing” to others as was alleged by at least one blogger.
We’re in this for the long haul and although this incident has taught us an important lesson, at no time did our actions or those taken by the agency in our employ compromise the integrity or standing of any of our customers. We apologise for the error and we are currently reviewing additional safeguards to ensure something like this never happens again.