March 04, 2005

How to Vent

I was reading this article on a really bad love note to the North Korean dictatorship when something snapped. I got beyond venting spleen and went to the article in question and started hitting refresh, looking for ads that weren't for entities owned by the same company. After one false lead (, which is owned by the same guys) I found Vonage. Now I've got no beef against Vonage as a company. I've been planning to get their service for my wife's new business (I'm doing the tech development/deployment for her). I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't even know that their ad was running there.

Now they do.

I just got off the phone where I called their corporate headquarters. I was patched through to marketing after blasting the poor receptionist. The first marketing drone was so taken aback at the idea that Vonage advertising was supporting N. Korea that she patched me into the head of marketing's line. He wasn't in so I left a voice mail. I included my name, number, and a sincere hope that Vonage's corporate culture had nothing to do with the impulse to paper over the stomach wrenching nature of the totalitarian N. Korean regime, and that if they continued to advertise at the LA Times, I certainly would no longer consider using them for VOIP services.

Lesson's learned:
1. Online ads are great for boycotters. You just click to follow the ad, go to the corporate information page and you have the address for letters and the switchboard for phone calls.

2. Make a call. Nothing beats the immediacy of it and if you are sincere, forceful, and the company isn't used to this sort of thing, you can end up giving your message to pretty high up the food chain.

3. Pick a company that you're actually using or considering using. If you're not in the target demographic for a company, your threats not to use their service or buy their product is just so much noise for them. Losing actual or prospective customers is another thing entirely.

And now back to my regularly scheduled off-line mayhem.

Posted by TMLutas at March 4, 2005 12:26 PM