Case Study: Aviatech-CertaPro Painters

               (Aviatech is now part of Mindstream Interactive)

Who The Hell Is Larry Carnier?

Reputation Management Strategy: Bash, Trash, Lie:
Note: Aviatech is now part of Mainstream Interactive.
Aviatech's Ryan Vaspra, at Aviatech's blog, wrote about a strategy for reputation management when complaints exist (emphasis mine):

... the primary strategy is to influence the actual Search Results. This entails a combination of Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Optimization, and Content Publishing. If done correctly, over time, what used to be two pages of Google filled with negative content can be transformed to two pages of neutral or positive content. Research has shown that 92% of consumers researching your company will never look past the first page; of the remaining 8%, only 2% will look past the second page. This fact gives every company a manageable objective when beginning a reputation management program.

Note: Aviatech is now part of Mainstream Interactive.

Put a ton of your own stuff online, which could include:

  • New website(s) about you (favorable, of course)
  • Post comments at blogs and forums, with a link to your site(s).
  • Post at facebook and twitter, with a link to your site(s).
  • Write a bunch of articles at free-submission sites, with links to your site(s).
  • Post links to site you want to bury -- post them at porn sites. Google may penalize the site's ranking because of those porn links to the site. (I have concluded there may be no ethics in the SEO/Reputation Management business.)

If it works, your stuff rates high on a google search and all the other stuff (complaints) get pushed way down (buried) in the search results. If they're buried, then hopefully people won't find them.

One of Aviatech's customers is CertaPro Painters (as of this writing, February, 2011).
Two particular websites were critical of CertaPro:
CertaPro Painters Complaints and
CertaPro Sucks.
In addition, a number of complaints have been posted at online complaint sites such as

I believe Aviatech worked on a reputation management strategy on behalf of CertaPro Painters using techniques mentioned in the blog excerpt (and translation) above.

The following tactics were observed:

  • Establishing several new websites:, and (There may have been others.)
  • Posting numerous links to these sites from other sites, some of those sites were existing CertaPro Painters sites, some were links placed in self-sumitted articles, some links were placed in seemingly innocuous replies at blogs (franchise blogs, for example). Within about 5 months, over 800 links were planted pointing to one of the sites and over 1,000 links were planted pointing to another of the sites. Google places a high priority on links, so the more links, the better your chance of appearing high in Google's search result.
  • Posting a number of videos at YouTube of franchisees saying favorable things about CertaPro and blaming failed franchisees for their franchise's failure. Many of these franchisees were relatively new to CertaPro, a few had been franchisees for awhile. The videos were posted using the username "larrycarnier".
  • Writing a number of articles at free article submission sites such as and These articles, when linking was possible, linked back to the newly-established CertaPro sites.
  • Numerous links (to my websites) from porn sites appeared. Here are two examples:
                                           click to view full size

                                           click to view full size

    The object of posting links from places like porn sites? Those "bad links" can mean google will degrade your search rating and placement. This was, in my belief, very nasty and unethical "reputation management".

    Those links were posted at the time Aviatech was extensively involved in its CertaPro reputation management effort, and I am of the opinion this was part of the Aviatech effort.

    YouTube videos, new websites, phony articles, and bad links created -- all during the same time frame.

    After published an article about my websites, another post appeared "CERTAPRO PAINTERS: Failed Franchise Owner Accepts Blame". I firmly believe the "Randy" who wrote the article was working for Aviatech. There is no indication that the website made any effort to verify "Randy" was, indeed, a franchisee.

Did the tactics work?
The tactics worked, to a degree. But my websites still rank high in google searches and they're still getting a lot of hits.

Time required:
It is believed work began around early- to mid-August, 2010 through at least February or March of 2011.

Unknown, but I'm sure it cost a bundle.

Was It effective?
My websites still rank high.
It appears Aviatech rode off into the sunset.

Overall, I'd call it an expensive failure and a demonstration in what was, in my opinion, reprehensible and unethical conduct.

Aviatech changed name to Mindstream Interactive


Note: This material has been obtained from web searches, information gleaned from a variety of web-based resources and personal observation of incidents and actions surrounding CertaPro Painters complaints sites. This study and commentary is based on those personal observations. The author is not associated with either Aviatech or CertaPro Painters.


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