huh..? posted by

Michael Jackson sings off-key.


We do feel sorry for companies sometimes. Really we do. The Ferret has just received it’s first Cease & Desist notice, although strictly speaking, since it’s from a Media & Ethics Department [huh? – Ed] rather than lawyers it’s more like a wannabe. The problem? That we featured a product called the Laundry Pure from a company called EcoQuest International this week. Yep, our crime good ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is that we dared to give free publicity to their product on the pages of our humble publication. No, really.

Now stop your laughing, it’s clearly a serious problem for this company’s CEO – a certain Mr Michael Jackson – because he’s made a special effort to write to us personally. Michael tells us that ‘your improper internet advertisement’ [huh? – Ed] creates ‘havoc amongst our dealers’ and furthermore if ‘you fail to correct the violations contained within your improper Internet advertisement, you will be subject disciplinary [sic] and/or legal action.’

Michael, we cannot begin to express our genuine and heartfelt sorrow for the loss that has been caused to your company, or begin to compensate you for the pain that our reporting has brought to you, your friends, employees, family and pets. Michael, please, please find it in your heart to forgive us for mentioning the Laundry Pure, we sincerely and honestly hope that no-one ever hears about it again, and that it fades into the obscurity it so clearly deserves and you so obviously desire. Does anyone know of a polite way of teaching dear Michael what a weblog is? Or the difference between an advertisement and a news report?

Full text of the email after the jump (sorry about the tear stains folks, they’re from our legal rabbit laughing so hard.)


My name is Michael Jackson and I am the President and CEO of EcoQuest International.  You are being contacted because we have become aware of your improper internet advertisement.  I am writing to ask you to remove the EcoQuest trademarks and copyrighted material (i.e., Laundry Pure, Fresh Air, EcoQuest, pictures, logos, etc…) from your web pages,  and along with removing any EcoQuest trade names from metafiles or key words used for search. This is not an approved method of selling our products.

 We appreciate your efforts but this type of advertising creates havoc amongst our dealers.  I would appreciate you taking this down and responding within 3 days to this email to advice this matter has been taken care of.  Please note that correspondence regarding this matter should be directed to the Internet Ethics Specialist that sent you this email on my behalf.


Michael Jackson

President/CEO EcoQuest International

*Please note that the Media & Ethics Department was asked to send you this email on behalf of Mr. Jackson.  If you fail to correct the violations contained within your improper Internet advertisement, you will be subject disciplinary and/or legal action. 


  • What a tool.

  • Might, just might, be a way of generating *more* hits coming from RedFerret don’t you think? A little bit of ‘guerilla’ marketing perhaps?

    Or indeed, a “tool”.

  • These folks have got their collective heads up that place where there’s no sun. What world do they live in ???

    Maybe it’s a mob front, and they don’t *want* to sell their products, so now you’ve upset a delicate tax write-off scheme !!

  • D-B, yeah I did think that maybe it was a clever bit of marketing, although I’m not sure that it’s really going to impress people very much, and surely they’ve had some good publicity already from being featured? I’m quite konfused really. :-)

  • I think that you should publish Mr. Jackson’s e-mail. Then we could all write to him to confirm that we didn’t read the piece anyway, and that as a result of publishing his name I now really want to know whether the silly device can be used to remove incriminating stains from white gloves…

  • I wonder if he’d be interested in some media training – mind you I have plenty of friends who seem to think that my job in PR involves advertising.

  • *hmmm, I wonder if the sequin-gloved one could send the EcoQuest one a cease and desist for improper use of a name? or proper use depending upon your own personal proclivities…

  • Lewis, I suspect he needs some kind of life training if he doesn’t realise how the Internet works.

  • Red,

    How I wish there was an internet equivalent of “bollocks” which all of us could send across to this ‘Michael Jackson’ and tell him to take a long walk till the end of the flat earth he’s living on.

    In fact, I have a better idea –

    I’ll publish a sarcastic post about Laundry Pure! Yup. That’s it. At least, we should make it known that this particular manufacturer of clothes washing equipment needs to get his lawyers’ brains laundered!


  • Reminds me of those companies that have a “no link” policy, because they think linking their site (without permission) is a violation of copyright or someother such non-sense.

    This really makes me want to post about them on my site too, but I don’t want to give them the press. I learned that it isn’t a good idea to feed the trolls. Though, I did enjoy the laugh.

  • Also on that Chippy News site, a page of product notes makes mention of copying the notes and “send[ing] this to yourself (and maybe to some of your downliners) when you are finished”.

    “Downliners”. Ah. Now the fear of exposure makes more sense. Going to throw the whole pyramid off.

  • Rob, nice find, beginning to make a little more sense now. Golly I love this ‘ere Interweb. :-)

  • LOL…
    That Guy is a pure retard

  • Hey Red, Don’t Worry about a thing, It will all come out in the Wash??

  • Mel, aaaarrrrgh? :-)

  • Well you sure showed them… Actually I think we have a failure to communicate.
    The Laundry Pure you showed on your site did look like an ad.
    In EcoQuest there have been so many problems with thoughtless people putting the company products on their web sites and making uneducated claims, such as our airpurifiers cure Malaria! This raises a red flag to the FTC who monitors and hands out hefty fines for making such claims. Not to the dumb bunny who made them, but to the company that manufactures the product.
    Coupled with the fact that EcoQuest�s sales force is a hybrid of net work marketing .You have to have some controls on keeping the playing field even as possible. They have a rule when your sign up about not putting your personal web site on a search engine. It makes since to most of us.
    Unfortunately it has been such a serious problem with greedy and bogus claims; they actually have a full time person watching for illegal web advertising. You came up in a Google search that to the uneducated eye looked like an ad. I thought is was
    Actually the people at EcoQuest are very polite and understanding when errors are made. They only bring in the heavy guns when someone does not play nicely.
    Having been in this business for the past 12 years I can really appreciate EcoQuest trying so hard to keep it fair for the little guy just trying to make a buck.
    So be nice, EcoQuest is a good company who creates sensational life changing products to better our world.
    Cordially, Charlie

  • Fair enough Charlie, I’m not out to make anyone the villain unnecessarily here. It’s just that you need to tell Michael and the crew that heavy handed doesn’t work any more on the new level web playing field. Especially when someone’s innocent. Perhaps a little more thought (and a visit to my About page to see who’s writing the stuff?) might have saved the company all this embarrassment? Anyway, water under the purified bridge now, ‘K? :-)

  • MJ learned the hard way. You can't con the people all the time. Some day, you will pay. MJs day finally came.

    I wish no pain on any man.

    Above all, honesty, integrity and truthfullness is what holds a company together.

    Greed will bite you in the end.

    Peace and joy to you all.

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