back to article Sophos sorry for blog comment spam campaign

Sophos has apologised after a third-party marketing agency hired by the anti-virus and anti-spam specialist sprayed link spam on the blog of security expert Gunter Ollmann. Multiple auto-generated comments submitted to Ollmann's blog containing hyperlinks to the anti-malware portal on the Sophos website. The …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Fire the marketing agency

    The only acceptable response is for Sophos to fire the marketing agency.

    Businesses only care about the bottom line. Sophos should publicly make an example of them, in the hope that other "legitimate" marketing agencies will get the message.

  2. James 5

    Name & shame

    Come on - which marketing company is it.

    Just name them, then sack them....

  3. Gareth.

    Where's Graham...?

    Rent-a-quote Graham Cluley can normally be relied upon to provide some soundbite on any old topic, but surprisingly he's very quiet on this issue. Why is that, Graham? Do you, for once, not have an opinion on this matter?

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects 1

      Do you not think?

      Maybe like everyone, else he sees the sense in waiting for the firm to speak to the people responsible?

      If you need to be told why that is, you should have your XO taken away from you.

    2. Graham Cluley

      Rent-a-quote Graham's right here!


      I'm right here - who do you think was the "spokesman" who spoke to The Register? :-)

      My opinion - as you read in the article - is that what happened is appalling, and something that we're all mortified about here at Sophos.

      We're not in the business of adding to the spam problem, and we are terribly sorry to those bloggers who received these inane messages from the marketing agency we hired.



  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't read the riot act - fire them ...

    ... not to do so is simply condoning this behavior and - when we're talking about Sophos - setting a particularly bad example. There are plenty of good agencies following best practice procedures who will deliver real results in a reasonable time frame without dragging your brand through the gutter.

    And while you're about it how about replacing the in house dipstick that signed up this backstreet supplier and bought into their illicit approach with someone who knows shit from shinola ...

    Unless of course Sophos are quite happy with these tactics so long as nobody finds out ... which seems unlikely ...

  5. Kurgan

    Look,ma: a FAIL!

    Nice move, Sophos. A big red "fail" sign for you!

    And now it's time to think about the methods used by "respectable" media agencies (and other buzzword names for "marketing companies") to promote their customers brands or websites.

    Maybe someone at Sophos hired the cheapest marketing firm he could find, and then "Oh, big surprise!" the marketing firm behaved like an internet scumbag to get the job done?

  6. John Tserkezis

    Let's get real, who hired whom?

    It's not our fault, we didn't do it.

    But we paid the mob who did.

  7. Pirate Peter
    Thumb Down

    pay peanuts

    as they say pay peanuts, get monkey

    was someone trying to save a few quid of the marketing budget and hired a cheaper than normal outfit without vetting their methods and client list??


  8. Christoph

    Who was the company?

    Why have the names of the marketing company and its directors not been published so that legitimate businesses can make certain never to trade with them or with any future company run by those directors?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Misbehaving (anti)-malware vendor...

    well... who'd have thunk it.

    A company who thrives on FUD caught (via an un-named) 3rd party behaving just like the folks they claim to stop.

    I used to think Sophos were better than the McAfee/Norton hawkers but unless they name, shame and replace their marketing company then there's no hope for them...

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Is there such a thing

    as a media agency/marketing consultancy that's not full of immoral scumbags?

    1. John G Imrie

      Yes there are lots of them

      Just look in your local bankruptcy court listings.

  11. BillG

    Sophos is the Blame

    Sophos hired the marketing company.

    Sophos is to blame. At the very least, Sophos' management is weak and did not properly manage the marketing company and their activity. At worst, Sophos is complicit adn knew what the marketing company was doing and now wants to distance themselves

  12. Jacqui

    marketing companies

    only do what is requested in the brief.

  13. David 45

    Who's the culprit?

    Name and shame, please.

  14. RJ

    Prove it

    Normally I am not into the "Burn the witch" crowd but recently every single cockup by a large company is "It wasn't us, it was a contractor / hired agency / bloke I met in the pub" so now I say:

    Prove to us that it wasn't Sophos's own marketing department who cooked up and executed this idiot scheme.

    As proof I will accept the name of the third party marketing firm in written form, which will leave Sophos open to prosecution for libel if they lie.

    Go on, show us that it wasn't you and stand by it.

    1. Graham Cluley

      Google is your friend..

      Check out the image of the spam on the upset blogger's post.

      The offending spam comment includes the commenter's name. Google his name, and you should be able to find out the name of the agency he works for pretty easily.

      Sophos is no longer working with the company.

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