Vicious Smear Campaign, Fake Negative Online Reviews, Leads Local Company To File 220-Page Lawsuit Against Competitor
30 March 2020 – Nashville, TN – A local residential and commercial painting company, Nash Painting, has filed a lengthy 220-page lawsuit in a local court to discover the mastermind behind a targeted smear online campaign of fake negative reviews.
A company proudly serving Nashville and Middle Tennessee for over 11 years, Nash Painting believes it is the victim of a vicious smear campaign of fake negative online reviews. The company believes such efforts have been orchestrated by Kevin Sharpton, owner of rival Nashville-based painting company Sharpton Painting.
The 220-page lawsuit, filed by Nash Painting’s owner Bill Nishanian, seeks to identify the person behind over 700 fake negative reviews left on Google and other websites about Nash Painting in the last year. Complete with one-star ratings to intentionally harm Nash Painting’s online reputation, the over 700 fake reviews contained lengthy descriptions of problems and complaints about Nash Painting, its employees, and its owner that never happened, and used stolen profiles and profile pictures from people worldwide in a direct attempt to damage the company’s reputation.
Kevin Sharpton, the owner of rival Nashville-based painting company Sharpton Painting, has a history of such behavior according to Bill Nishanian and local court records. Just a year ago, three local companies joined Nash Painting to send a cease and desist letter to Kevin Sharpton that accused him of targeting all four companies with fake reviews on Google and other websites. Another painting company, Sharper Impressions, previously sued Sharpton after it too had received hundreds of fake negative reviews, leaving Sharpton to admit to posting the fraudulent reviews, apologize to Sharper Impressions, and agree to cease his behavior.
Launching his investigation, Bill Nishanian uncovered many similarities between the negative reviews and ones posted by Sharpton in previous cases involving local competitors.
This latest lawsuit seeks to identify the person behind the fake negative reviews and to confirm Nishanian’s suspicions Sharpton is involved. This comes just after Nishanian attempted to subpoena records from Google and other online platforms that would show where the reviews were coming from, only to be blocked by an attorney for Sharpton.
As the lawsuit is pending, Bill Nishanian will continue to spend countless hours attempting to remove the fake negative reviews. A tedious process involving the filing of separate complaints and manually proving how each review is fraudulent, new fake reviews still continue to be posted daily. However, despite this continuous smear campaign, Nash Painting is committed to continuing to serve its Tennessee clients, and to building upon the successful community brand and reputation it has earned over the past 11 years.