Defamation by competitors
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Have you recently suffered defamation by competitors?
Online defamation by competitors is not unheard of. Below is one classic example of defamation by competitors of a small family business.
Jeff Clark, a husband and a father of three children ages 3, 6, and 10, has always loved cars. He has been fixing them since he was 12, and has worked in local garages around the Manchester area for many years.
One day in 2001, Jeff realised that he could make some additional money by selling desirable second-hand car parts. So he created a niche for himself dealing in second-hand parts for BMWs and Saabs. By 2006 he was dealing with people from all over the world, mainly over the internet, buying and selling desirable second-hand car parts. His side-venture flourished, and he turned it into a family business.
Then one day Jeff noticed that business was slowing down for no apparent reason.
He then received a telephone call from one of his main dealers, who told him about a number of allegations which had been made against Jeff and his company over the internet. Jeff was not aware of this before, and to his horror, he soon discovered that he was described on the internet as a thief, a crook, and a fraud.
When business was thriving Jeff did not give much attention to the internet reputation of his company. He had never done much to promote his business reputation online, and had never participated in internet forums or written a blog. But now, it has all gone quiet.
When he typed his company's name in the search box, he suddenly realised where all his business had gone.
Most of the negative material about him looked as if it had been written by the same people. Upon further investigation, we identified the main source of the defamatory material as a "dedicated second-hand parts review" website.
Jeff had recognised the advertisers on that website as his main competitors, and we quickly linked them to the source of some of the most defamatory comments and reviews about him on the internet.
It took some time to completely clear the internet from the defamation against Jeff, but we got it done. Matters slowly started to improve, and his business is now back to normal.