National Pork Board Goes After Breastfeeding Search Marketer

Danny Sullivan on
  • Categories: Channel: SEO, Link Building: Google Bombs & Link Bombs, SEM Industry: Community
  • Last year, well-known search marketer Jennifer Laycock set up the Lactivist
    project, where she explained step-by-step how to market a new web site on a
    budget. Part of the project were the funny shirts she sold to promote
    breastfeeding, including one called "The Other White Milk." Turns out the
    National Pork Board thinks that violates
    their trademark on the phrase "The Other White Meat."

    Jennifer has more in her post,

    Overzealous Big Pork Stomps on Breastfeeding Blogger
    . They’ve sent her a
    number of demands, plus suggested she’s trying to promote some type of adult
    breastfeeding fetish. I like the part in the letter that explains:

    The Other White Meat has become instantly recognizable and famous in
    connection with the promotion of the pork industry. In addition to the use of
    these marks on pork products themselves, these marks are also used to promote
    high quality pork products….

    I’ve heard breasts called many things but never have I heard them considered
    pork or pork products. Ditto breastmilk.

    Yep, saying "The Other White Milk" does call to mind the famous pork slogan,
    as the letter (PDF)
    points out. But I don’t think anyone thinks the National Pork Board is somehow
    endorsing Jennifer’s shirts nor that the shirts somehow tarnish the reputation
    of the pork slogan. Frankly, the letter to Jennifer tarnishes the National Pork
    Board’s reputation more than her T-shirts could possibly have done. But they’ll
    find that out soon enough.

    We know where this is all going. In short order, the threat will get pulled.
    But we’ve all got to yammer on about the absurdity first. So motors started.
    Blogosphere, time to sound off. Two suggestions here.

    First, drop the National Pork Board a line through
    this contact form.
    They’ve given her until 5pm Mountain Time on Feb. 5 to respond. The
    counter-action from our end is they have until that time to stop a link bombing
    campaign in her support.

    And that campaign? Well, if they keep going after her, I saw everyone links
    to Jennifer’s article this way:

    Back Off National Pork Board
    . I’ve made that nofollow for now. But with
    no-nofollow links like that from across the web, there’s a pretty good chance the article will
    start ranking well for the phrase "National Pork Board."

    But I thought you just
    wrote about it how Google stopped link bombs! I
    did, not that
    you can find
    the article in Google anywhere — everyone else referencing it,
    sure, but not the article! But I digress.

    The fix is only designed to stop link
    bombs against pages that do NOT want to be found for particular terms. Jennifer
    talks about the National Pork Board in her article, as it makes sense to do. She
    has an excellent chance of ranking well for it.

    So c’mon National Pork Board, do the right thing. Make a donation to some
    groups that support breastfeeding while you’re at it.

    Postscript: Jennifer’s story is now popular on Digg


    About The Author

    Danny Sullivan
    Danny Sullivan was a journalist and analyst who covered the digital and search marketing space from 1996 through 2017. He was also a cofounder of Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, MarTech Today and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo and MarTech events. He retired from journalism and Third Door Media in June 2017. You can learn more about him on his personal site & blog He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.