“Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to think. With the CEO and PR man switching personae as if they were in an old French farce, the clientele sometimes not even knowing they were being served and the paper of record being quoted from an unknown source, I felt I was learning less about an online auction site for the rental market and more about the smoke and mirrors of some fledgling Internet businesses — where the PR machine hustles articles from an unsuspecting press, then uses those articles to pitch their ‘product’ to deep-pocketed funders.”
This is an example of what happens if you try and deceive reporters and your customers. If you have something real to talk about, be honest about it. If you don’t have something real, and you try the ‘smoke and mirrors’ approach’ you will get caught. Right now, the #2 result on Google for this company is the article calling their bluff. I bet it moves up to the #1 result pretty quickly.
(Disclosure – I consult with Rent.com, which may be considered a competitor of this company, but I am posting this as a cautionary PR tale and not as a representative of Rent.com)