Through a correspondence between some Broken Hartz affiliates who experienced a problem with a Hartz Spot-On Flea Product and a distributor whose position regarding Hartz products remains to be seen Rite Aid Corporation; a document, authored by Dr. Melinda Fernyhough, Hartz’ Manager of Scientific Affairs and Resident Veterinarian (at least for a little while longer, anyway) was produced. To save Dr. Melinda the embarrassment of claiming she didn’t author this, we provide this screenshot of the document’s properties:
The seven page document is filled with bold lies and makes for very interesting reading, to say the least. We plan to share more of this document in future posts but, today, we will address this particular section:
“Unfortunatley [sic], there is a lot of misinformation on the internet about flea and tick products. Hartz is working constantly to offer factual information about flea and tick products, including a [sic] education tab on our Facebook page that will link you directly to the EPA website for accurate, independent information.”
We agree with Hartz. There is a lot of “misinformation on the internet”, however, we feel the source of misinformation comes from them, not the public.
Hartz has no interest in providing factual information, which brings us to Hartz.com’s Press Releases page:
At the start of our investigation, a couple of weeks ago, this page featured links to twelve different press releases. We clicked through every press release link and found three of the twelve links did not work.
One broken link was to an article called “Nature’s Collection Fundraiser” and the other two non-functioning links were, conveniently enough, “Hartz recalls Naturals® beef treats” and “EPA Flea & Tick Topical Advisory Update”.
Here is the complete list of Press Release links as well as screenshots for reference. You’ll notice the “Nature’s Collection Fundraiser” link works although, until today (2/18/12) and evidenced by our screenshot, this was not the case:
Before going into the next portion, we at Broken Hartz wish to mention we have more than twenty-five years combined experience in web design.
Upon discovering these “broken links”, we decided to research the cause of the malfunctions. To do this, we analyzed the source data for the Hartz.com Press Releases page. You may need to click on the image below to zoom in and get a better look:
The picture above shows the “links” portion of the markup from Hartz’ Press Releases page. These links are used to direct users to the appropriate press release when clicked. A quick review of the links portion of the page showed the three broken links had no defects in the way they had been written. This is further proven by the fact the above “Nature’s Collection Fundraiser” link now works, even though its coding has not changed from the time of our investigation. The point is: there is nothing wrong with these links. They are intentionally broken and Broken Hartz can prove it.
We suspected the “Nature’s Collection Fundraiser” link “error” was planted so it would not be as blatantly obvious that Hartz was hiding the more unsavory press releases from the public’s eye, so we started there. We put our knowledge of how the internet works to use and were able to find a version of the missing “Nature’s Collection Fundraiser” press release on an alternate version of the Hartz.com website:
Hartz’ Broken then Fixed then Re-Broken Nature’s Collection Press Release
(Since the release of this post, Hartz deleted this extra version of the Nature’s Collection link and fixed the link on their main site for a few weeks before intentionally breaking the link again, but the screenshot above displays the web-address where this article was originally uncovered. This particular press release has had an intriguing history.)
Now that we had found this press release, it was time to move on to the others. We tried many different ways to locate the missing “Hartz recalls Naturals® beef treats” but were unsuccessful. That wasn’t the case when it came to the “EPA Flea & Tick Topical Advisory Update” press release, however:
For more details on what happened, click here.)
Here is a zoomed in view of this very interesting press release:
The discovery of this bogus article speaks volumes. Hartz clearly has no intention of offering factual information about flea and tick products.
Actually, since compiling this information, we have been checking Hartz’ Press Releases page to see if this truly was intentional or an honest mistake. Today (February 18, 2012), more than two weeks from us noticing these “errors”, Hartz has finally paid some attention to its Press Releases page.
They did not add a new release. They fixed, then re-broke the “Nature’s Collection Fundraiser” link for some mysterious reason, left the broken “EPA Flea & Tick Topical Advisory” link up for a few weeks before ultimately removing it and saw fit to remove the “Hartz recalls Naturals® beef treats” link immediately, further proving their commitment to denial.
Much more to come.
UPDATE: HARTZ HAS BROUGHT BACK THEIR “BROKEN” EPA FLEA & TICK TOPICAL ADVISORY LINK AND HARTZ RECALLS NATURALS BEEF TREATS LINK.
If you visited the link above to Hartz Press Releases page you may have already seen this.
We’re sure it probably happened a while ago but; as of June 8, 2012 we noticed Hartz has chosen to bring back their “EPA Flea & Tick Topical Advisory” and “Hartz recalls Naturals® beef treats” press releases.
It is quite interesting to note, although Hartz has re-published these releases (and is well aware there were some “problems” with these links the last time they published them), the links are still “broken” despite showing no obvious reason for malfunctioning, other than intentional failure.
This, of course, is no surprise, seeing as how Hartz seems to specialize in creating products that intentionally fail.
Click this link for the next article in our Hartz “Executive Summary” exposé: Fun with Charts!