Wednesday, May 10, 2006

NEWS: Wacked-Out Lawsuit

There is something weird going on in Maine Blogdom...check this out! Courtesy of Taylor Marsh. In capsule, a Maine blogger is the target of a multi-million dollar lawsuit by an advertising company working for the Maine Office of Tourism after criticising the firm and the MOT on his blog.

The ridiculousness of the lawsuit (what ever happened to Free Speech?!) is compounded by the fact that it is drawing attention away from what should be the real controversy!!!

A summary of events can be found here, including pertinent details such as: "The Maine Office of Tourism pays 3.9$ million a year to Warren Kremer Paino Advertising in New York to handle its advertising campaign. Part of this budget goes to purchasing internet traffic through Google AdWords and Overture to drive traffic to the MOT’s website, The actual amount that is spent is unclear, but an interview with someone in the MOT in 2004 stated that it was $7,000 a month at that point."

Wouldn't you think Maine would know how to spend their money better? I though we were supposed to be thrifty.

To quote the Boston Globe:
Dutson, an independent Web designer, launched his blog last fall to comment on technology and Maine tourism issues. He has written commentaries ridiculing the state's tourism efforts and, last month, he posted a "rough draft" advertisement pulled from Maine's Department of Economic and Community Development website showing a collage of iconic images of the Maine seacoast, woodlands, and ski slopes, with a dummy phone number that turned out to connect to a line promoting a phone sex service. The agency had inadvertently placed the phone number on the draft advertisement for a presentation made to state tourism officials.

"This is supposed to be our biggest industry," Dutson wrote on his blog yesterday, referring to tourism, "but it's being run like a trailer park daycare on its 3rd notice from the Human Services people."

Also included in the above summary link are detailed accounts of the wacky hijinks of Dutson's attackers, including events like this: "Nancy Marshall, the PR maven for the MOT, sent an email to my wife’s boss, entitled ‘Are you aware what Lance Dutson is doing?’, putting pressure on my wife through her employer to get me to be quiet. She emailed my wife, and called her there also. She pulled my client list from my website and made calls and emails to them, telling them I was causing ‘personal pain and sleepless nights’, and saying that my actions were hurting the local tourism economy, apparently as a veiled threat that her wonderful PR services would be withheld if the local merchants didn’t force me to be quiet." Gee, they sound professional, the whole lot of them.

No comments: