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Thread: Shame on DASP

  1. #1
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    Shame on DASP

    Just wanted to point out what appears to be bad taste advertising which verges on the illegal. DiscountASP (who I used to hold in high regard) are now taking out Adwords against their main competitors (we should be so lucky).

    So I did a search for ************ to check out their latest and found this on Google:

    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...q=************

    Do a refresh a couple of times to see the Adwords.

    Is ************ Painful?

    No. But these Ads are very painful to DASP's image.

    I have seen a number of these ads targeting other Hosters and it is really the lowest of the low tactics.

    Web host companies should be supporting each other to the point of referring prospective customer on to other reputable hosts if it is thought that the clients needs would be better served there.

    The pie is big enough. There is no need for these gutter tactics DASP. Shame on you.

    Cheers,

    Mark
    Last edited by Ultima VPS; 12-11-2006 at 01:54 AM.

  2. #2
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    OK, so is ************ painful? Just kidding.

    That happened to DemoDemo a year ago as well, if my memory serves me right. Too bad to see these careless and tasteless PR acts take place.
    Hosting Discussion - web hosting community.

    Is your company represented?

  3. #3
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    Try a few other top hosters and you will see they have also gone for:

    Reinvent: How sad is our competition:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...nt&btnG=Search

    Appliedi: We don’t need some annoying flash animation to sell our hosting

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...di&btnG=Search

  4. #4
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    I guess they would just say that it is just business, however it is pretty low.

  5. #5
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    For me advertising say again just the main keyword its just about ok. If I do a search for "Liquidweb" I see adverts for two other hosting companies but its simple straight forward "here are the facts"

    However for DASP to say xxx websites sucks or similar is getting very close to edge and I wouldn't be surpirsed if there was a legal case there (IANAL etc)
    Russ Foster - Industry Curmudgeon

  6. #6
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    Any way Google could police this a bit better or do they have an report abuse department?
    Last edited by Ultima VPS; 12-11-2006 at 06:44 AM.

  7. #7
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    This is common practice, lots of companies are doing it, and not just in webhosting. At the end of the day it's just a matter of whoever has more money and can afford to do something like this. In my opinion, why even bother with the shotgun approach
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  8. #8
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    Is ************ Painful?
    Sounds like something the brain of a marketing expert would concoct. Great targetting there!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultima Hosts
    The pie is big enough. There is no need for these gutter tactics DASP. Shame on you.
    Two things; first, you're assuming DASP took the ads out first, when they may have been responses to adwords taken out by the other host(s). You don't know who was the first to target the other's search results.

    Second, I think you're taking this way too seriously. It looks like two marketing departments sparring with each other. Whether that actually damages anyone is arguable.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjp
    Two things; first, you're assuming DASP took the ads out first, when they may have been responses to adwords taken out by the other host(s). You don't know who was the first to target the other's search results.
    There was a link posted by one of the hosts in question (Seems to have been deleted now) and it clearly explained that their ads were in response to ads placed by DASP.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp
    Second, I think you're taking this way too seriously. It looks like two marketing departments sparring with each other. Whether that actually damages anyone is arguable.
    Have you read some of the ads? They are clear-cut attempts to damage the reputation of the other companies.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artashes
    That happened to DemoDemo a year ago as well, if my memory serves me right. Too bad to see these careless and tasteless PR acts take place.
    Yes, and it is still taking place, Very distasteful, scummy, seedy marketing to say the least.

    Vito
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  12. #12
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    Yes Appliedi.net fought back with their own set of Adwords targetting DASP. It would be bizarre if DASP wasn't taking out the Ads. Now that would be clever but I am sure it wouldn't last.

  13. #13
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    Don't See The Problem

    I must say that I respect the opinion of Ultima Hosts and YetiHost-Wullie in regards to their distaste for this kind of advertising, but in all honesty I don’t see where there is anything wrong with advertising that directly calls out a company’s competitors. We are all very familiar with one that was so popular that it actually became part of popular culture through out the 1980’s, the Wendy’s “Where’s the beef” ads. These ads were a direct attack on McDonald’s and their “lack of beef” so to speak.

    Second, I find it odd that people are still jumping on DASP for running these ads assuming they “started” this, and not bringing up the fact that other companies are attacking DASP as well. Let’s say for lack of information that DASP did start this, why are we not holding the other companies to that high of a standard as well since two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Finally, the people here that I see complaining look to be in the same space as DASP (windows only hosting). So it leaves me to wonder what the motive is for starting this thread. One would argue that a thread post at an extremely popular hosting forum attempting to talk badly about the practices of a direct competitor is itself a form of marketing and also an attack on that competitor in question. I’m not saying that is the reason for the posting of this discussion, but it does make one think.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayaic
    I must say that I respect the opinion of Ultima Hosts and YetiHost-Wullie in regards to their distaste for this kind of advertising, but in all honesty I don’t see where there is anything wrong with advertising that directly calls out a company’s competitors. We are all very familiar with one that was so popular that it actually became part of popular culture through out the 1980’s, the Wendy’s “Where’s the beef” ads. These ads were a direct attack on McDonald’s and their “lack of beef” so to speak.

    Second, I find it odd that people are still jumping on DASP for running these ads assuming they “started” this, and not bringing up the fact that other companies are attacking DASP as well. Let’s say for lack of information that DASP did start this, why are we not holding the other companies to that high of a standard as well since two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Finally, the people here that I see complaining look to be in the same space as DASP (windows only hosting). So it leaves me to wonder what the motive is for starting this thread. One would argue that a thread post at an extremely popular hosting forum attempting to talk badly about the practices of a direct competitor is itself a form of marketing and also an attack on that competitor in question. I’m not saying that is the reason for the posting of this discussion, but it does make one think.
    Very astute observations!

    Also, what isn't known is if there are any other potential reasons for one host targeting another host in that manner. There could be some back story/explanation that those outside of the companies don't know about.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayaic
    Finally, the people here that I see complaining look to be in the same space as DASP (windows only hosting). So it leaves me to wonder what the motive is for starting this thread. One would argue that a thread post at an extremely popular hosting forum attempting to talk badly about the practices of a direct competitor is itself a form of marketing and also an attack on that competitor in question. I’m not saying that is the reason for the posting of this discussion, but it does make one think.
    Fair point but of course we are in the same space - I wouldn't give two hoots about linux hosting and never look at linux hosters etc.

    The motivation comes from a gut reaction from what I see as something that really damages (windows) hosting as a whole. A company like this should be setting an example of professionalism not throwing mud and acting like a two bob operation.

  16. #16
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    When competition is fierce, right and wrong can become more flexible than usual. The bottomline is likely to dictate what is right... sooner or later. Bending the rules is a way to get "there" faster.

    I find myself not crossing the street when the light is red, even though there is no car in sight. The guy next to me who does cross it, always gets home earlier than me. I never learn this lesson!

  17. #17
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    Good analogy - but you forgot the bit where the other guy also puts super glue on your shoes

  18. #18
    Hello,

    As someone directly involved in Applied Innovations (AppliedI or AppliedI.net) I can say that we did not start what has been perceived as an adwords war. We also did not start this thread or had anything to do with it.

    We found the discountasp.net ads when a client pointed them out to us. We found this distasteful and I personally considered this a personal attack. We did fight back with similar ads which resulted in ofcourse more ads from both sides. We realized this was not the correct way to handle such a matter and have pulled all negative ads (and they were very negative such as: discounted hosting comes with discounted support.) Our own ads are something I am not proud to admit we posted but again this was ONLY posted after we were made aware of the initial attack. This also prompted even more pointed ads from discount about our website such as our control panel being asp and not asp.net (oh whatever!) and our flash animations on our site (which were recently changed but this was strictly because they weren't helping conversions and if anything were scaring off prospects.. ).

    We honestly do not know what prompted discount to place such ads as we have never spoken negatively about any hosting company including discount (who until this incident we had only the utmost respect for as they have done quite well marketing their brand). Let's face it there's plenty enough hosting to go around that everyone can get a piece of the pie there's really no need for such tactics and we should all promote a friendly competition and not this crap!

    After further thought, does it really matter that they're placing negative ads on my company name? absolutely not. What it shows is that they are either threatened by our company or in admiration of our company and after my emotions calmed down and I thought about it logically, I'm complimented!

    What's really interesting is the affect it's had on individuals searching for our company and then signing up for service. Conversions for these searches are awesome now not sure if it's that we're placing our own ads now, that we're picking up recognition for this story being repeatedly blogged about by others or that it's on digg but it's working pretty good!

    If you find yourself being targetted by such ads I recommend you not place your own attack ads. That by doing so you're simply allowing your prospective clients to see that you're not professional, do not maintain any sort of business ethics and honestly if you can't respect your competitors how can I assume you're going to respect me as your client.

    It's certainly acceptable and recommended to post your own ads on your competitors brand and name, but keep it professional. Google does monitor these and will pull them if the ad crosses a few vague lines and it really seems to depend on who you get when you call google. We've been in business since 1999, this is not the first time a competitor has posted something negative about us and we've even seen competitors telling their clients they'll pull their hosting if they don't post something negative about us or rebute a testimonial! (there's plenty of dirty slimeballs in the hosting game) and I'm certain it won't be the last we'll see something like this

    Hopefully the admins don't consider this self promotion as it's not it's simply a side of the story from one of the parties involved. At one point I would have loved to hear what Discountasp.net has to say about this but I really couldn't care any more. They're simply soiling their own good name.

    Best Regards,
    Jess

    PS part of me really hopes one of the hosting magazines or a newspaper picks up this advertising campaign they're doing and their competitors are doing and writes up a story. I think this would make a great read for any webhosting company honestly..
    Last edited by appliedi; 12-17-2006 at 12:33 AM.

  19. #19
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    I have always thought of this practice used by competitors as slimey and underhanded. To the point where I retaliated - NOT by buying adwords ads with their names as keywords, but rather by posting my own ad alongside theirs - http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...mo&btnG=Search

    I had the campaign running for a while and stopped after a few months. This thread has prompted me to renew it.

    Vito
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  20. #20
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    Interesting move. Might be worth doing a few on DASP with a link to this forum post.

  21. #21
    Vito, anyone that's worked with you knows first hand your work at demodemo rocks so you have nothing to worry about there. Make sure you advertise on your domain name and company name too or you're missing out. You can look at ours for ideas.

    All online marketing firms recommend you place advertisements on the brands and products of your competitors that it's low cost ads and generally well converting ads (they're looking for the very product you sell afterall!). So I would put up clean, professional ads. They do work. I believe DiscountASP.net may have slipped initially and didn't mean to attack us they have the same ads for most of the major windows hosts out there (btw, it's a good time for everyone to punch in their own domain and company name to see what comes up).

    I think our dirty punchs earned us more dirty punchs, we could have kept it up and started a war but we've opted not to. I think it's the dirty ads that back fire but who knows maybe this kind of advertising is working. I'd just rather not stoop that low.

    Jess

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesscoburn
    Vito, anyone that's worked with you knows first hand your work at demodemo rocks so you have nothing to worry about there.
    Thanks, Jess, for the kind words. Much appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by jesscoburn
    All online marketing firms recommend you place advertisements on the brands and products of your competitors that it's low cost ads and generally well converting ads (they're looking for the very product you sell afterall!).
    Whether ad firms promote this practice or not, I have a fundamental objection to it. It is dirty, cheap and low class. Advertising using keywords that reflect the product that you sell is one thing. I have no problem with that. But, riding the coat tails of the popular brand in your industry just smacks of cheap and deliberate exploitation. It tells me that these competitors are not prepared to legitimately compete on a level playing field - they feel compelled to use the popularity of a competitor to further their own business. IMO, that just stinks to high heaven.

    To those who use this seedy tactic:
    Build your own brand. Make your own mark in your industry. Set yourself apart with the quality of your product and service. Develop a loyal following. Reap the long term benefits of your good name and reputation. But when you feel that you need to underhandedly exploit a competitor's brand in order to promote yours, you fall into the wrong category in my books. You have substantially compromised your ethics and business standards, and you have dropped waaaay down in my eyes as a respectable competitor. Essentially, you have whored yourself like a cheap trick. For shame.

    Vito
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  23. #23
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    Hehe, Vito I love your slogan there:

    Don't buy from competitors who use
    DemoDemo as keyword in ads. Tsk tsk
    Indeed, it was a smart choice we made

    I noticed several companies (like ours) being targeted by 'Lypha' webhosting in adwords, which is annoying, since they seem to have an unlimited adwords budget for top CPC. As long as the purple sponsored links box on the top doesn't appear on search results, I can live with it... I guess that only happens if it's a top keyword?
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by PolurNET
    I guess that only happens if it's a top keyword?
    Correct. it is inconsistent - sometimes I see it and other times I don't. Not sure what criteria Google uses to display that top ad.

    Vito
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  25. #25
    Seems somebody read the Rich Jerk book

  26. #26
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    We took out AdWords on DASP (promoting ourselves and not denegrating anyone) and soon found ourselves the target of the DASP slagging tatics. I then changed our AdWords to point to this forum and the DASP slagging stopped

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultima Hosts
    We took out AdWords on DASP (promoting ourselves and not denegrating anyone) and soon found ourselves the target of the DASP slagging tatics. I then changed our AdWords to point to this forum and the DASP slagging stopped
    Speaking of shameful marketing, what's up with you, UltimaHosts, promoting ASP.NET 3.0 in your signature file??? ASP.NET 3.0 hasn't even been released yet by Microsoft and you're saying your supporting it????

    Come on now, you should be ashamed of saying that you support a product that hasn't even been released yet.

  28. #28
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    Yeah we are supporting it on a special MS program

    Its meant to be .NET 3.0

  29. #29
    Don't feel bad Ultima, we're getting asked daily if we support ASP.NET 3.0 LOL
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