Lipstick on a Pig

I received the following email today (I’ve removed information that could identify the company involved):

Hello. I`m Chris [redacted], Director at [redacted]. A wholly owned subsidiary of the [redacted], we were the [redacted] retail mobile phone website (launched in [redacted]) and are now the [redacted] mobile phone store in the UK.

I was searching the web for decent potential partners and came across I have an idea which I hope you will find useful:-

We would like to have our editorial team research and hand write some content for you to add to a page on We will agree a subject with you that is relevant to both of our sites (it won`t be a sales pitch for us!) and will include a single simple text link back to a relevant content page on our site. The content will be uniquely written for you and will not be re-used elsewhere. It should be helpful to your visitors and of course the search engines, as will the presence of a relevant link back to us. Hopefully we will also benefit from the link in the longer term. We are not currently in the position of being able to exchange or return links so we thought this could be a good alternative.

Naturally there are no costs whatsoever for you.

If this isn`t appropriate for you, please accept my sincere apologies for having troubled you.

We have found that quite a few emails go missing — plus I`m either out or in meetings much of the time and can take a while to reply to emails — so we have created a simple and quick-to-use response page that provides detailed information and answers to questions on the various options and allows you to send us messages . . and much more! You can access it here:-

Page: http://[redacted]/partner-response.html
Your Access Code: [redacted]

REMOVAL If you feel you should not have received this email, I`m sorry – please just reply with REMOVE in the subject.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Kind Regards – Chris [redacted]
[redacted] Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of [redacted] Group PLC
Registered in England no. [redacted] at [redacted]

However much you dress it up, it’s still link mining. I suppose I should be flattered that my paltry site has drawn the attention of such a big player in the mobile phone industry. But instead, I just feel icky.

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