Battle between two marketing companies

It’s not often that startup rivals compete in front of others, but that’s the case with mobile messaging provider Postscript, which took to the Twitterverse earlier this month after receiving a cease and desist letter from competitor Attentive.

Attentive’s letter was in response to a customer case study that Postscript wrote and posted on its website about food company BUBS Naturals, which stated that BUBS Naturals left Attentive for Postscript after discovering that its list was actually shrinking instead of growing, and then with the company fought to move its listing from its platform.

Postscript was sued for “false, misleading and deceptive claims” made about it in those published materials, and Attentive demanded in its letter that Postscript stop posting them.

Asked afterwards what is going on between the two outfits, Attentive replied via email to a spokesperson: “Unfortunately, Postscript has a history of false claims and deceptive behavior. We’ve sent multiple reminders over the years for making inaccurate claims about Attentive, which they’ve acknowledged and corrected. We also filed a federal lawsuit against Postscript in January 2023 alleging continued and willful infringement of our multiple patents for our two-tap mobile technology, revolutionizing the ability of brands to add customers to their SMS lists in a compliant manner. to add. (Attentive shared a copy of the complaint with MinRegion.)

Some of the “beef” between the two may seem tacky to outsiders. For example, Attentive’s strike letter complained about the timeline in Postscript’s marketing, which states that former customer BUBS Naturals had been a customer of Attentive for three years, while Attentive says BUBs had been a customer for about half as long.

In response to Attentive’s letter, Postscript co-founder Alex Beller published a annoyed sounding tweet, saying that Postscript has heard from Attentive before and calls the company a “bully.” He also published a “full response” that attempted to strike a more measured tone.

Reads the response: “Postscript takes your allegations seriously and provides a substantive response below. But it’s also important to see the broader context in which Attentive makes these allegations. Postscript makes a profit in the market. It has also recently drawn attention to a reprehensible practice by some text messaging platforms in the industry: holding a customer’s own text list hostage to prevent or disrupt the customer’s attempt to switch providers. Given these circumstances, Attentive’s assertion of increasingly weak legal claims seems aimed at supporting recent underperformance in the market and deflecting its own acts of unfair competition.”

Russell Weaver, a law professor at the University of Louisville, spoke to MinRegion about the options Attentive has to defend itself against alleged defamation or slander. One is to file a lawsuit, which Weaver says is more complex and can often lead to further investigation or defense of the company. The other is to try the stop-and-hiss route, as Attentive has done.

Meanwhile, Postscript’s tactic seems to be working. In response to one of Beller’s tweets on the matter, an Attentive customer said he might switch suppliers. BGC (@Bryan_Clark_) tweeted, “This makes me want to switch from attentive to Postscript. I wonder what the ROI on this thread will bring to you guys.

When asked if it had an impact, Postscript replied via email that it “doubled its ‘win rate’ against Attentive in the last quarter.”

Meanwhile, MinRegion spoke to TJ Ferrera, co-founder of BUBS Naturals, about not seeing that promised subscriber pick-up. In regards to making a switch that probably drew more attention than he anticipated, he said he has no regrets.

“On the one hand, it’s the little players who don’t know how to play this,” Ferrara said. “On the other hand,” he said, referring to Attentive, “you have a 400-pound gorilla holding people’s information hostage.”

When Ferrara requested modified data from his account, Attentive responded to that data retention claim within six business days, and a subsequent request was answered within an hour. In addition, the “policy with its customers makes it clear that the customer owns their data. Attentive facilitates the export of subscriber lists upon customer request and strives to provide them in a timely manner in accordance with our contractual agreement.”

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