Ad Agency Sues Maine Blogger Over Search Accusations

Ad Agency Sues Blogger for Defamation from Ad Age covers an ad agency promoting tourism for the state of Maine suing a Maine-based blogger for defamation. The search connection? The blogger, Lance Dutson, had highlighted out broad matched search ads were hurting his own clients or not perhaps attracting the audience the state wanted. And a further search connection. The ad agency, WKPA, is concerned that searches on its name will now bring up Dutson's criticisms.

Dutson has a variety of posts on the subject on his blog, most in this category. WKPA lacks its own blog. Expect that to change when it discovers that search marketing has two components -- the ads you buy and the PR you get from natural organic results (which aren't helped by its all-Flash site).

Meanwhile, Seth Finkelstein looks at how the broad matching ads may have been misinterpreted by the Maine Department Of Tourism as an accusation, rather than an explanation of poor targeting.

Postscript from Jennifer Slegg: Maine State Rep Stephen Bowen is calling for the Maine Office of Tourism to suspend its contract with WKP, pending the results of the lawsuit, in order to distance itself from the agency.

Postscript from Barry Schwartz: The ad agency backed down from the lawsuit, more details here.