3rd Deadly Sin of Advertising: Feigning Ignorance

3rd Deadly Sin of Advertising: Feigning Ignorance Have you ever known someone who posted something on one of your business email groups knowing that it probably wasn't allowed but they would rather ask forgiveness than permission? When caught, they usually say something like..."Oh! I am so sorry. I didn't realize that wasn't allowed!" Now sometimes they truly had no idea that a certain rule exists, but many times they secretly hope they will get away with it and rely on the kindness of people to forgive their little sin. Be careful! I have seen people do this once too often and it can backfire in a big way. The net is a surprisingly small world. Many of your group members are also on other groups with you. Once they get to know you, you have a reputation. It's wonderful to have a reputation for being honest, trustworthy, kind, uplifting... But a reputation for posting "Ooops! I didn't know..." emails will catch up with you. Similar to this is the Facebook practice of sending ads to your entire friends list.  I think folks may be interested if you are doing something brand new and if it isn't a recurring event, but to email 3000 of your closest Facebook friends every time you list something on Etsy, Craigs List or eBay get's a bit tiresome for most of your friends.  I've had people do that to me generating several emails  an hour for a few days only to start all over again a few days later when they have another sale.  Contacting them to ask them to stop sending me a notification on every item, they usually say, "Oh, I'm so sorry. I had no idea it was going out to all my friends."  I'm not sure I believed them even at the time because the link you click to send an email says it is going out to all your friends.  However, I was sure they knew when it was sent out six more times the very next day. Aside from the fact that Facebook takes a dim view of ads on a personal wall (that's why they created business fan pages), your friends will find your spam annoying but they will quickly see through the excuses you give for not knowing what you should have known, especially if they are the ones who told you. What's your experience with this deadly sin of advertising?  Who has been a victim of someone feigning ignorance of the rules? Did it color your opinion of them and their business? x *SUBSCRIBE HERE*: for More Communication Fun, FREE Gifts and Exclusive Offers! x


  • Kim @ In Our Write Minds

    This especially bothers me when the “gift” keeps on giving. On FB, every time someone replies to the original mass advertisement, I get cc’d when they “reply all.” It makes me want to run away screaming.:)

  • Carla

    Well, first off, spam doesn’t really bother me unless it’s disgusting. I just hit the delete key. Mine is well-worn. However, I think the motive for this little “Ooops, I didn’t know” thing (as you put it), is also to get two ads out there. I mean, hey, you HAVE to apologize, right? And I’m sure you didn’t delete your ad off the bottom of the apology email to the group, so guess what? They can see it again! Yes, there are innocents who do it ONCE and then quit, but the repeaters, I feel, know exactly what they are doing and they do it for a purpose.

    You’re right about Facebook frowning on doing business from personal profile pages, but it’s done all the time. And again, some don’t know better; some do and don’t care. A legal maxim is, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” Again, I think you can get away with ignorance ONCE and then it gets old and it’s no longer innocent.

    The point about your “reputation” is well made, JoJo. I know folks who do this ALL the time and when I see their name on a post, I just delete it. I could be shorting myself here. They may now have something I truly want or need, but I’m just tired of the way they play the game so I don’t even look.

  • jojosblog

    Cindy, that reminds me of a DM I received from a brand new FB friend. He sent a msg asking me to wire money to him for his ministry charity. When I said I’d pray for them, he sent another message saying prayer was fine, but they needed MONEY! I didn’t answer so the next day he sent another message telling me that he never received my money! I realized that he was pretty demanding even in the first email. I just thought he wasn’t a native English speaker, but he was just rude!

  • Cindy Holman

    I have been the recipient of many inbox messages from ‘friends’ or from ‘group’ that I ‘liked’ and am now a fan or something. From one of my friends they started nice – then accusatory because apparently no one was commenting on his page. It was amazing to me and I ignored and then when it became really disagreeable, I ‘unliked’ myself. No one likes to be balled out for not doing something online – it’s irritating.

  • jojosblog

    I don’t mind spam as much as many people do either. I find much of it funny. But the reputation thing is a big issue in Yahoo groups and other online venues. Kim is so right about the way it makes folks feel they are trapped into a series of emails until the topic dies out. You cannot unsubscribe from a Facebook Direct Message.

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