This morning, this email from Martin Giles, owner of Bull Smoke, was delivered in my InBox

 

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Hi John,

I see you published the review.  I’m less than thrilled with it, but hey, I tried to be cordial and work things out.  Btw, my research team found your son, I believe.  

 

Best,

Martin

Yes, Martin, my son from a previous marriage is currently sitting in jail for cocaine possession. Thanks for letting me know!

After learning that we planned to publish our review on Bull Smoke and that we would be saying that their brand was expensive, offered limited choices, among other things, we received the followed email:

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John, there is a lot of money in this business to be made without making enemies or spreading details that could cause a stir.  If you are going to do more harm to us than you are good, I propose you just drop it and we part ways.

I respect your take on being objective and having an opinion, but I can assure you that you will face an uphill climb earning credibility and gaining followers and trust with your readers should you publish the attached review. I’ve done research and have to admit, I’d never heard of Spin Fuel before you came to us, and it’ clear you are on ground zero now and most would say not even a threat to harm us.  I could just let you publish it and probably not suffer much of a PR hit, but why even take that chance?

Should the review go live in it’s present form and continue to promote South Beach Smoke at my brand’s expense, I wish you well in an uphill climb to gain traction as an authority site.  You’ll find that the response will be overwhelming and I’ll hire my entire online marketing crew to attack with full force and as you say “pull no punches.”

I’m not a magazine writer, I’m an Internet Marketer, Bull Smoke being a tiny sliver of my online portfolio, yet something that has been very enjoyable. Should you proceed, I won’t stop at having the facts conveyed to numerous top blogs and setting the record straight.

I’m a nice guy, but I’m serious as cancer. I don’t want to follow through with such a campaign as it’s not a good use of time and like I said, nobody needs enemies, this is a huge space.  I’d rather be an ally than enemy, but that’s all up to you.  We’re good people here, John.  You can ask your friends at South Beach Smoke.  I’m all for your magazine doing well and you selling ad space, but certainly not at my brand’s expense.  I feel like you really set us up for high hopes only to just pull the rug out – not cool and more importantly, your facts are all wrong.  John, I’m extending an olive branch, ball is in your court, I think I’ve made my point.  Open for a phone call or open to finding a middle ground, but I’m afraid I won’t let you publish a tainted review and get off clean should you choose that route.

We call this the Bull Smoke Declaration of War. This morning we were greeted with an email from RipOff Magazine letting us know that Martin has began his war. Well, his email letting me know that he “knows” about my son was a dirty shot at me, and another salvo in this “war”. Remember now, read the review and see just how much we criticized Bull Smoke.

The URL is below. We imagine that other “salvos” are on the way.

Read the RipOff Magazine Report

Bull Smoke should be embarrassed. We’ve said worse things about other companies in Spinfuel and they’ve taken it as professionals.

We’ll continue to provide up to date information as we get it, including new threats from Martin Giles and Bull Smoke.

John Manzione / Editor