Truth in Marketing: What we can learn from the Tour de France

Ian Lurie

Pills, syringe and ampules
I am a huge cycling fan. On Thursday I was chagrined to hear that the top 4 or 5 riders were removed from their team rosters for this year’s Tour. Why? They were linked with an ongoing investigation of performance-enhancing drugs and doping.

They might come back, someday, but they’ll have asterisks next to their names, forever.

The same is true in internet marketing: You can try to bring people to your site under false pretenses. You can try to fool folks into opening an e-mail message. And you can try to offer a service or product that isn’t quite as advertised.

It might work for a while. But once folks find you out, you won’t be able to clear your reputation. It’s not worth the long-term risk.

Note: Jan Ullrich and the other racers haven’t been proven guilty yet. I sincerely hope they’re innocent. But several riders, including Tyler Hamilton, can’t get away from the fact that they cheated, and all their achievements are sullied because of it. Marketing holds the same lesson. Ever hear of Enron?…

Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at

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