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A very disappointing find

UPDATE:
Looks like their mrormrs.co.uk site has been taken down (internal server error, godaddy intervening?). Their inboundmarketingcompany.co.uk site is down, but just with a blank html page, not sure why. They’ve renamed their twitter to @mrandmrs_1 – not sure how that helps.


What went down.

We have had a very disappointing start to our day.

We received an email this morning from a fellow designer saying that he had seen our site copied elsewhere and thought he should bring it to our attention (big thanks to Alex – you are a legend). The site at mrormrs.co.uk have copied the css, html and javascript of our site, launching it as their own site, building a client base under false pretenses. It looks like these people also run another site inboundmarketingcompany.co.uk, which seems to have a fair few clients.

The Proof

The first thing that we should be clear on is that the work is our own original work and it is themealings that have been copied and not the other way around.

Our professional/personal history

Being that all the content has been replicated and barely modified there’s a lot that doesn’t make sense obviously.

A bunch of Sam’s work for Australian clients is listed here – like Moray and Agnew Lawyers, The Mac Group (both Sydney based clients, which Sam worked on whilst at Digital Garden), Wine Selectors (based in Newcastle NSW whilst Sam was at Izilla), and Newcastle Airport, Mcdonald Jones Homes, Forgacs, Frontline and AMSA (all Newcastle/Australia based and done at Redback Solutions). Sam’s never worked for Chatterbox or InBound anything!

We’re sure Ash Hughes (who we had breakfast with this morning) would love to know that Vicky Hutton designed her site, although the footer on Ash’s site offers a different opinion, and she’s really happy with the work by Leesa Mealing.

Hey that’s cool, Vicky’s joining us for Field Trip conference in Sydney!

Our site recognition/awards.

Our site recieved site of the day on awwwards on 23rd Nov 2012 - http://www.awwwards.com/web-design-awards/the-mealings – It was submitted to awwards about 2 weeks before that.

Our site was featured on tympanus.net on the 4th Nov 2012 - http://tympanus.net/codrops/collective/collective-36/

Registration date

Note the above recognition (tympanus.net 4th Nov 2012) – a quick lookup of their domain through godaddy shows that it was registered on the 6th Nov 2012.

Our site was launched in October 2012.

The poor implementation

Have a look at the screenshots below… There’s a lot of broken links, “junky” SEO text, images that just don’t fit right. It reminds me of “have you ever bought or rented a video that wasn’t quite right?”.

Broken 4th icon.

Random “reviews” text?

Shoddy graphic in with the nice typography.

SEO links, SEO links everywhere!

Cool contact form bro…

We like ours better…

We hope that’s enough proof that the work is ours – we can screenshot the PSD layers if you still aren’t satisfied.

The weird parts

There’s a few pieces to this puzzle that are just downright weird. Like this tweet:

The irony! It burns!!!

Their chrome extension… God knows what it does…

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/mrormrs/pngkecljcphabooinkpjcminbceahenl

We recommend not installing it.

How we’re feeling

We’re very disappointed about this. We poured countless hours into the architecture, design, and development of our site. They’ve not just copied the code, but also our content, portfolio pieces and what makes it unique. They’ve plagiarised and taken what we worked hard on, and passed it off as their own to solicit clients and profit from their deception. When we first found this site, we were so angry at having such a thing happen. We’ve both calmed down, the support from designers/developers on twitter and via email has been really cool (sadly this sort of thing happen far too often in our industry), and writing this post has been fairly cathartic.

Outcome

We’ve done some investigation and it looks like they’re hosted with godaddy (or at least their domain is). We’ve contacted godaddy and asked to have it removed, it remains to be seen what the outcome will be.

We’ve put together this post, not just for the design/dev community but for the clients of this “agency”. Although we’re not experts on law in the UK, in Australia, if a designer you engage plagiarises and you use that work to advertise, the original owner of the work can hold you legally accountable regardless of whether or not you were aware of the designer’s actions. We’re publishing this information partially for the benefit of the clients of mrormrs/inboundmarketingcompany, they should be aware of the fact that their work may not be original. If Ashley and Vicky Hutton haven’t created original work for themselves, it’s probable that they haven’t for their clients either.

We’ll try to make personal contact with “Mr or Mrs” in the next 24 hours, send a “cease and decist” and possibly pursue legal options – worth pointing out that the UK is a commonwealth country and the law with regards to plagiarism shouldn’t vary that wildly, the other issue here is that they appear to have been taking business and making profit from our good name if their portfolio is to be believed.

I’m just leaving this here…

These are publicly published details of their company which we found within 5 minutes of finding the site. If any of these details look familiar or if you have done business with them, we would recommend you look into the work that has been provided to you and make contact with them if necessary.

 

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