Caution: Contents May Prove Fatal

B79TFM Vintage arsenic poison bottle on antique shelfAs faithful Repman readers know, I occasionally like to engage in a back-and-forth discussion with individuals who send me completely ridiculous or unintentionally laugh out-loud spam e-mails.

My all-time favorite remains my coming close to leasing a tug boat from a salesman who had me convinced employees would love commuting along the East River on one of his barges.

I think this next one finishes a strong second. It arrived unannounced in my inbox the other day.

The subject line was a real grabber: “Peppercomm + Arsenic”

I immediately wondered if the salesperson was suggesting I follow Jim Jones’ lead (Note to Millennials: Google Jonestown, cult and mass suicide). Nah, I thought, why would she want a complete stranger to poison his entire workforce? What would be her ROI on something like that? And who would still be around to pay her?

It turns out that her firm, Arsenic, bills itself as a digital media super-house (talk about superlatives!) that connects brands with people. Oh. OK. Well, then the name makes perfect sense. Not!

I must admit to having an immediate and negative visceral reaction. Who would use Arsenic for any reason other than to kill a pesky rabbit, garbage-raiding raccoon or hated spouse?

Could you imagine telling a key automotive client we’ve finally cracked the code that would enable them to reach those oh-so-iconoclastic Millennials, and the answer is Arsenic. Holy genocide, Batman! I can only imagine the facial expressions.

But, The Arsenic note was simply too bizarre and too funny not to respond. I was going to ask the saleswoman if she promised a full guarantee if the product wasn’t 100 percent effective. I was also tempted to suggest some pro bono tagline advice, such as Arsenic…

– “Watch us wipe out your enemies”

– “All’s fair in love, war and marketing”

– “Toxicity is the new orange”

And, my personal favorite: “The final word in strategic marketing”

But, I refrained from proferring pro bono advice and, instead, let her know we’d already engaged with one of her direct competitors: Rat Poison.

And, that’s when the fun began.

Please read from the bottom-up and see if you don’t agree with me that this young lady needs to loosen up a bit and realize her company’s name is going to elicit all sorts of ridiculous responses. Maybe she just needs a pinch of Arsenic in her next Tequila?

Anyway, remember to read from the bottom-up. Bottoms up!


Steve: Again, other partners have never been uninterested in partnering with us due to something as trivial. These partners include companies and brands such as Hakasan, Love Nation (an investor in Arsenic), Snapchat (we have one of the highest engagement rates on the app and a wonderful relationship with the company), the Honest Company, Rogers + Cowan, BBH, Grey Activation and many others. It also hasn’t stopped celebrities, influencers, and music artists from working with us, such as, Diplo, The Chainsmokers, Kylie Rae, Steve Aoki, Logan Paul, and many others. 

However, I would love to thank you for illustrating the small-mindedness of Peppercomm. It clearly wouldn’t be an authentic partnership.

(Note from Repman, I thanked her for calling us small-minded since I’ve been a long-time advocate of little people). 

On Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 9:04 AM Steve Cody <> wrote:

The name is a tad off-putting, no?

Steve Cody | Co-founder and CEO

Sent: Monday, March 6, 2017 11:15 AM
To: Steve Cody <>
Subject: Re: Peppercom + Arsenic

That’s too bad that due to our name there is no interest, seeing that our viewership is over 2M+ and we are trending with millennials such as Justin Beiber and Kylie Jenner. 
On Mar 6, 2017, at 8:01 AM, Steve Cody <> wrote:

Love to talk, but we already partner with Rat Poison.



Sent: Monday, March 6, 2017 10:52 AM
To: Steve Cody <>
Subject: Peppercom + Arsenic

Hi Steve,

Would love to introduce you to my company, Arsenic. I think there are so many ways we could work together.

Do you have availability to chat this week or next?

Arsenic is a digital media super-house that reaches millions of millennials via its social media platforms including Snapchat and Instagram. I think that we would be perfect partners – our audience is a very elusive demographic and we love to expose them to amazing brands that fit authentically. 

Arsenic currently has over 1.1 million followers on Instagram and receives an average of 500k views on Snapchat. Arsenic has gone viral with millennials – 96% of our audience is between the ages of 18 – 35. Best,Our audience includes celebrities and influencers such as Kevin Hart, Diplo, and Justin Bieber.


3 thoughts on “Caution: Contents May Prove Fatal

  1. You are correct in assuming I’m not referring Arsenic any time soon (unless a neighbor is battling some sort of rodent infestation).

  2. Hm….it’s quite a small world we live in. I assume you won’t be recommending Arsenic to any of your connections. Also, I wasn’t aware Diplo was a selling point for brands…good to know! HA