There is nothing wrong with an agenda - The issue with Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor is:
- Pretending to be impartial.
- Describes competing suppliers and manufacturers by name as "criminals", "violating federal law" and "bad apples".
- Using half-truths and omissions in deceptive articles that damage the reputations of competitors.
Mr. Holladay is a masterful writer that cleverly deceives with false comparisons, omissions and half-truths. The Green Building Advisor website scares unsuspecting readers away from suppliers and manufacturers that compete against advertiser on its website.
When questioned about his tactics, he'll reply "I stand by my position...my reputation speaks for itself..." If pressed even further he'll file a report against your company with the FTC (as if they don't have enough of their plate). He'll then brag to his chat room groupies about reported you. He mentioned in his article that he makes report after report to the FTC. He'll claim the reason the FTC doesn't take action is they're underfunded.
It reminds me of a story my wife's best friend (a wonderful female police offer) told us of an old lady that constantly calls in. Each time they go to the lady's apartment, the old lady just complains about her landlord. It appears the old lady is lonely, wants conversation and to be recognized. Unfortunately Martin Holladay's deceptive articles are more damaging.
This page was written because it had to be written. Left unchecked, people like Martin Holladay of Green Building Advisor are able to damage others with impunity.
The articles at GreenBuildingAdvisor.com are designed to convince the reader that Martin "The Energy Nerd" Holladay, supposed expert, is there to inform and protect. He calls his articles, "Musings of an Energy Nerd". He writes, "To stop these scams, energy experts need to educate building inspectors and well as contractors." Let's STOP right there! Martin, you're not an insulation expert!
How his website describes him:
"Martin Holladay has worked as a plumbing wholesale counterperson, roofer, remodeler, and builder. He built his first passive solar house in northern Vermont in 1974, and has lived off the grid since 1975. In 1980, Holladay bought his first photovoltaic module, which is still producing electricity after all these years."
Martin Holladay is however a gifted writer that is able to persuade. The articles are designed to achieve four goals:
- Rank well on search engines
- Get contractors and home owners to buy from the website.
- Get contractors and home owners to subscribe to the website.
- Get contractors and suppliers to advertise on the website.
The tool used to achieve these goals are articles. The articles have good guys (advertisers on GreenBuildingAdvisor.com) and bad guys (any industry, supplier or competitor to the advertisers).
Mr. Holladay deceives by stating half truths about some products while cleverly promoting other products featured on the website. The article will appear to educate - It will link an ICC-ES report or some government document about insulation. The fact that the document is being misapplied and or doesn't draw the same conclusion as the author won't make a difference - Mr. Holladay knows most readers won't take the time to read the entire government document. Even if read, the consumer most likely will not know what to make of it. The purpose of citing or linking the document is to impress the reader - to make him or her more inclined to accept Martin Holladay's recommendations. He will cite an example of a couple fly by night companies that mislead consumers and then he'll mention the name of practically every supplier and manufacturer in the industry so the reader links everyone with the behavior of a few. I must admit it's impressive how persuasive the articles can be.
Here's an example what appears to be a fair question he poses in an article, when in fact it's misleading. Martin Holladay conveniently disregards the fact that the R-value of reflective insulation is measured as a system. Instead he deceives consumers by citing the R value of the material only in his criticisms. A case of deception by omission.
"Most brands of foil-faced bubble wrap are only 3/8 inch thick or less, and have an R-value of only 1.0 or 1.1. Since the product often costs more per square foot than 1-inch thick rigid foam rated at R-5, why would anyone use bubble wrap as insulation?"
Mr. Holladay knows:
- The R-value of reflective insulation is not measured by the inch.
- The R-value of reflective insulation is measured within a system.
- Reflective insulation reduces the transfer of heat across air space.
- The R-value of reflective insulation and mass insulation is based on the same fundamental equation - The ability to stop heat transfer.
The above example is how he pitches products (rigid board in this case). Martin Holladay misleads consumers by stating only the R-value of the material used in a reflective insulation system. He knows the R-value is measured as system. The above deception is bad but the next tactic he uses is even worse.
Martin Holladay describes suppliers and manufacturers that refer to the R-value of the system as "criminals", "violating federal law" and "bad apples". It's his use of this type of language in his description of competitors that separates the Green Building Advisor website from others.
The article doesn't care if the supplier is transparent (linking the R-value measurements to the parameters of the test). Mr. Holladay waves a broad brush, condemning practically every supplier in the reflective insulation industry in his effort to maximize the effectiveness of the article. Criminals are required in stories that require someone to come to the rescue. Let us remind you that Martin portrays himself as an energy expert that needs to come to the rescue. "To stop these scams, energy experts need to educate building inspectors as well as contractors."
Facts about how the R-values are measureed by advertisers on the website are conveniently withheld. In this article about the R-value of Foil faced bubble wrap and other articles we've read on the website relating to R-values, there is no mention that fiberglass and cellulose measure their R-value under the parameters of no wind and no humidity - that's not real-world conditions. Don't you think that's worth mentioning at least once? Do you see the hypocrisy?
It's going overboard calling competing companies by name "criminals", "violators of federal law" and "bad apples". What kind of marketplace would we have if we all named our competitors "criminals", "violators of federal law" and "bad apples". There must be some self policing. Arrogance sometimes convinces people to believe they're so powerful that they can say and do what they want. Mr. Holladay, you crossed the line.
Martin Holladay, remove the names of the competing companies listed in the article that you described as "criminals", "violators of federal law" and "bad apples". Use your writing talent to articulate your point in a manner that doesn't throw everyone under the bus (good and bad). Yes, it may take a little more time to write such an article but the world doesn't need 7 billion websites calling competitors "criminals", "violators of federal law" and "bad apples".
Please share and post a link to this page on your website if you're been unfairly harmed by the broad brush used by Martin Holladay.