One of the most fre­quent ques­tions we get is, “When you de­stroy some­one’s rep­u­ta­tion on­line, should you make-up bad things about them?”

Every neg­a­tive mar­keter has a dif­fer­ent take on that ques­tion. Here is ours:

As strange as it might sound com­ing from a neg­a­tive on­line mar­keter, our in­tegri­ty is of para­mount im­por­tance to us.

In this busi­ness, es­pe­cial­ly when it gets dirty, we have noth­ing — noth­ing at all — oth­er than our hon­or, our word. We will fight dirty, but we will do so with in­tegri­ty.

I mean, we try to treat every­one the way we want to be treat­ed. And we would­n’t want to hire some­one who lies — ever. There­fore, we just don’t lie.

Yes, there’s a fine line be­tween “dirty” and “in­tegri­ty”, fin­er than most peo­ple think — and that’s what we spend our time try­ing to bal­ance.

There­fore, our gen­er­al prin­ci­ple is:

We use the truth, on­ly the truth, and noth­ing but the truth. But we don’t use the “en­tire” truth, and we em­pha­size cer­tain parts of the truth and de-em­pha­size oth­ers.

Let me ex­plain. In every­day life, even when you speak hon­est­ly, you don’t al­ways share every lit­tle de­tail. If your wife asks, “Do I look fat in this dress?” — even if she does, you prob­a­bly avoid an­swer­ing the ques­tion, “Hey, that hat looks fan­tas­tic!”. We em­ploy sim­i­lar tech­niques, but on a mas­sive, broad­er scale.

For ex­am­ple, we’ll go and find your en­e­mies’ clients. We’ll in­ter­view them one af­ter an­oth­er. We’ll then take the un­hap­pi­est — and fea­ture them on­line.

This is com­plete­ly true and le­git­i­mate, and no one can ar­gue with it or doubt it. Which is what makes it so com­pelling!