By now you're probably aware that a suburban Minneapolis dentist, Dr. Walter Palmer, has ignited an international firestorm over his killing of a lion nicknamed Cecil, while on a hunting safari in Zimbabwe. His practice, River Bluff Dental, had to take down its Facebook page amid an onslaught of angry reaction -- which then moved to its Yelp page -- protesters have appeared at his office, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is ready to assist Zimbabwe in its investigation, and Safari Club International is suspending Palmer's membership.
Now, it turns out that Palmer and his practice were once clients of a Golden, Colorado, marketing company called Page 1 Solutions. Its contract with Palmer ended in 2013, but owing to some intricacies involving the way website addresses are assigned and tracked, it appeared that Page Solutions and Palmer still had a relationship.
That kind of public information is easily available to anyone who knows how to look for it, and people angry over Cedric's death found what they thought was a bona fide link between Palmer and Page 1 Solutions. The firm figured this out because it started fielding angry phone calls and social media posts, according to a post by Page 1 Solutions CEO Dan Goldstein
He says that he read news reports about the lion, "and found Dr. Palmer's action in killing Cecil the Lion to be reprehensible." Not long after that, the firm found itself pulled into the story.
We started receiving calls and social media posts attacking Page 1 Solutions. Then the angry social media posts and negative reviews started to appear. Initially, this took our staff by surprise because nobody was familiar with the doctor's name. Although River Bluff Dental had been a client of ours, we always referred to the client by the name of the practice and not by Dr. Palmer's name. Brad, our Senior IT Specialist, took three angry calls from people who were upset that we were marketing Dr. Palmer's website. This was confusing since our contractual relationship with River Bluff Dental was terminated in 2013 and we had not even hosted his website since then.
"Nobody at Page 1 condones the killing of Cecil the Lion, Goldstein says in his post. "I believe that Dr. Palmer's actions in this case were beyond the pale and unacceptable."