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Subject: RE: UKNM: Incorrect Use of Client Reference Sites
From: Annie Millar
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 10:34:33 +0100

Jane do we have an official answer to the bot atr bottonm about using
agency names in meta tags if not I think we should as I suspect these sort of
things will be hit at me at the talk

Robin Edwards wrote:
>Kirstie, although I cannot speak for everyone, I have a feeling that this is a
>widespread problem. We had a similar case whereby on turning up at a sales
>meeting and going through our portfolio, the prospective client said "Oh, you
>must know XXX, because his company worked on that site too."
>Bemused, I asked him what he meant (because we had produced the site from
>scratch, and no other agency had ever worked on it), and he produced the
>portfolio from the other agency which included some lovely screenshots of one
>of our sites. Upon choking with surprise, the prospective client called this
>agency to ask what was going on. The agency said it was a genuine mistake, and
>that they had done some pitch work for our client. Somehow they had printed out
>the 'wrong' screenshots. It wouldn't have been so bad, but the prospective
>client said they had almost dismissed the agency on the basis that their
>portfolio was not very good, with the exception of the screens from the site we
>produced! Just think - if I hadn't been there, the other agency might have got
>work based solely on the quality of the work we had produced.
>Fortunately I was there, and we have had a long standing relationship with the
>new client ever since.
>There are lots of examples of several agencies pointing to the home page of a
>company and listing them as a client without explaining what they did for them.
>Often they produced a sub-section of a site, a game/screen-saver/banner, or old
>work which isn't even there any more. In this case they should, in my opinion,
>only link to the bits that they did, or relegate the name of the client to a
>non-linked list of past clients. Naming names is definitely a subject for
>conversation at a future UKNM get together! The only way to counter this that I
>can think of is to ask your client for a name-check at the bottom of their home

>page. Not all will do this of course. Failing that, you need to keep on the
>boil and seek out agencies who are effectively passing off your work as theirs
>and ask/order them to stop doing it. Using a search engine that can list links
>to your client's home page is one option, but it can be a laborious task.
>The thing that annoys me the most is the practice of using the names of the
>major agencies in the meta tags of a home page to suck in people who are
>searching for that agency. We fall foul of this in several places, as do many
>other agencies - try it and see! I'm not sure if this is illegal, but perhaps
>it comes under miss-use of a trademark? If it does, I can feel a conversation
>with a solicitor coming on. Does anyone else know for sure?
>Robin Edwards
>Clockworx Design Limited
>T: +44 1543 252370 F: +44 1889 578789
>E: robinatclockworx [dot] co [dot] uk W: http://www.clockworx.com/

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