It came to my attention today that Business Management Magazine ( not linked on purpose), part of GDS International, is using my name to sell sponsorship of their publication and some roundtable event at the RSA conference.

Not only do I have NOTHING to do with them, they were advised over a year ago to stop using my name or the Gartner brand to sell their reports.

I participated in an interview nearly 2 years ago, mistakingly thinking they were a valid publication. Reports started coming in that they were using my name to sell themselves, implying endorsement, and I retracted the interview before publication. The editor I worked with quickly left the company afterwards based on seeing the deceptive practices himself. He warned me that his computer was seized and the interview used without permission. It’s over a year later and they are still using my name without permission.

They are also implying that they are timing the release of their publication with a major report I’m releasing. This is completely false- I have not revealed my publishing schedule. I don’t even know exactly when the report is coming out.

I’m pissed. The only people who can use my name to sell anything are Gartner. If you ever hear anyone else implying my sponsorship, endorsement, or participation, please let me know.

Update on 16 December, 2008:

For some reason, this post started receiving a large amount of comments about 2 months ago, many of which were inflammatory and inconsistent with this site. GDS then contacted us to discuss the incident.They provided a statement/apology that we agreed to add to this post, and we also offered to just remove all the comments and lock future comments.The incidents occurred years ago, and we see no reason to let this drag on.

Here is a response from Spencer Green, Chariman of GDS:

Dear Mr Mogull — while it is not my practice to respond to each and every comment on my company, I feel that this thread warrants particular attention. I too have the strange compulsion to defend. GDS International employed a member of staff two years ago who misrepresented our relationship with yourself and Gartner. He was caught before we received your letter and dealt with accordingly — fired for gross misconduct. The editor you mention did not leave the company based on seeing our “deceptive practices”: they too were sacked (for a number of reasons, yours included). No computers were “seized”. We made a full and frank apology to Gartner at the time, which was accepted, and our two companies moved forward. Misrepresentation is completely against GDS policies. It is antithetical to our business model — a short-term act that benefits the individual over long-term thinking that benefits the organisation. GDS is proud of the work we do, of the many long- and short-term business relationships that we maintain, and of our employees, who — this example excluded — consistently perform to our high standards. GDS has been trading for 15 years and currently employs over 450 people. In these last two years, we have grown 50% year-on-year. We are a robust, ambitious company with a solid, proven and scaleable business model — not a house of cards. It is a real shame that the actions of one GDS employee affected you. Hundreds more are working to produce the best business magazines, events and websites. I hope you will take the time to check us out. Thank you for the opportunity to draw a line under this incident. Regards, Spencer Green Chairman, GDS International