This marketer is trying to use my blog to sell pills to you

Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.

You, my dear, dear readers, or more specifically, the number of you, mean I get a lot of e-mails from marketers who would like to advertise their products to you. You have no idea how many sketchy products and websites I have protected you from over the last several months. Most of these e-mails are good for nothing but a snort and the “ignore forever” file, but a few really rise to the top, deserving to be read, shared, and answered. In public.

So that’s what I’ll do for one of the marketing e-mails I got yesterday, titled “Review and Giveaway Offer.”

Here goes. The original text, in its entirety, is in bold.

Hello Alaina

[Hello! That’s my name! I can already tell that you’ve really done your research.]

Shakespeare called memory “the warder of the brain.”

[More research?! Dost thou ken my love of Shakespeare? Thou quotest Lady Macbeth in Act I:

…his two chamberlains
Will I with wine and wassail so convince
That memory, the warder of the brain,
Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
A limbeck only: when in swinish sleep
Their drenchèd natures lie as in a death,
What cannot you and I perform upon
The unguarded Duncan?  What not put upon
His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
Of our great quell?

Never mind that the line you’re quoting is actually about getting two servants so drunk that you can murder a king and then smear them with his blood to frame them. If that’s your lead, is that worth considering for a slogan? “Take these pills and no-one will be able to pin a horrible murder on you!]

Our brains are constantly being attacked by the stressors in our lives including environmental pollution [have you tried the market in Beijing?], internal toxicity [you mean like my depression and vicious perfectionist complex?] emotional strain and a lack of proper diet and nutrients [how could you have seen me eating that Whopper Junior from the Delaware House this weekend?].

Brand-name pills product helps maintain optimum sustainability [is anyone else enjoying that spectacular bit of redundancy? “Maintain optimum sustainability” *snort*] of the molecular environment of the brain [ooh, science-y science-ish stuff! I bet you have a stock photo of a guy in a white coat on your website], enabling us to retain our ability to think cognitively and improve our memories. [“Think cognitively”? Somebody’s going for the Redundant Gold Medal.]

I’d like to send you a complimentary thirty-day sample [how kind!] for review on your site [phooey, I didn’t realize getting free stuff meant I had to swallow thirty days of pills whose copy is sell-it-to-ya-ese for “zero proven health benefits”, and then write about it for free]. I can also provide a handful of additional samples you can use as a giveaway. [OMG thank you!!] Finally, [there’s more!?] I can give you a link you can share on your site for anyone to click through and get a free sample for a minimal shipping and handling fee of only $1.98. [So…does that mean that when I give away the “handful” of samples to you guys, I’ll have to pay whatever it costs me to mail it? Do you mind if I charge you?]

[I’m pretty sure this is the deal of the century for all of us. I mean, just for reading this blog, a couple of you get brain pills your doctor never heard of, made up of caffeine, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Phosphatidylserine, Phoshatidylcholine and other shit I can’t pronounce, and I get to turn my own website into a free marketing platform for a company hawking shady health supplements…waaait a minute…]

Please get in touch if you’d like to take me up on this offer or if you have any questions.  

[O God, I have an ill-divining soul.
Methinks I see thy pill-slinging pitch
As one dead in the bottom of a tomb.]

Best wishes,

[I bet! You too!]

 Name withheld

Scroll down to subscribe or find me on Twitter, and I will continue to protect you from links to companies like this. 



Add yours →

  1. Oh, but maybe they work, you skeptic!

  2. Thanks for protecting me. I also get the scams. There is a Nigerian Prince who has money in a bank and if I send just some funds they will include me in on the fortune from a will. Will I sell pills, electronic equipment, my soul for a dime? There are so many scams out there that there must be some people who fall for them. That is a shame. Your blog went to the point. By the way I own a bridge in New York City and for a mere invisible two cents you can have your name inscribed under its foundation. Are you game?

    • That’s so weird, everyone knows that prince. I also apparently have very wealthy relatives in Europe who want me to inherit a large sum despite never having met me. I think the elderly get some of the worst scams — my own grandfather was inundated with “preapproval” notices for contests promising his top “eligibility” to win thousands of dollars if he would just return the enclosed paperwork with a $5 processing fee. He got them all because he fell for the scam once. It made me livid — what’s lower than scamming vulnerable elderly people?

      Anyway, these types of e-mails are a bit different, if not less seedy. They don’t want to steal actual money from me, they just want to help themselves to the audience I’ve built with my own effort, and gain free targeted advertising. But just like all the other scams, some bloggers must be falling for it; otherwise companies wouldn’t do it, right?

  3. There’s a scammer born every minute. Shakespeare said that.

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