A Marketing CEO Tried to Exploit My Writing With An Image

P.S. There is a special place in hell for those who bully freelancers.

hustlelead How S.
4 min readNov 21, 2020


I was waiting for my haircut when I received the email.

For the past week, this marketing CEO, whom I shall call Mark, had been bugging me to put up a link to his website on one of my articles. I planned to go through the editing process over the weekend as the workweek has been rather hectic.

Suffice to say, I finally squeezed some time into the schedule to get a haircut.

I opened the third email from Mark this week, and read the message. I was now having my reservations about his request. The last email now looks more like a threat.

What happened?

I read the email in disbelief and felt an uneasy urge to disobey the instruction.

I thought back to Dale Carnegie’s book “How to win friends and influence people”, and then about how this correspondent was violating every rule in that book.

More than not making friends, Mark seemed to be out to make enemies by threatening me to do something I might be uncomfortable about. His message was bubbling with threat and blame for my inaction.

Here is an excerpt of what he said:


I hope you’re having a productive week.

It’s Mark from Company ABC.

Did you get a chance to read my email? I’d really like to know your thoughts on the topic.

We’re so glad that you’re using one of our images in this article: <inserted link to article>

Just a final reminder, I want to ask you if it would it be possible for you to give images credits to our site <inserted link to his site>?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thank you!

In case you readers think this message is innocuous enough, keep in mind that this email came at the backdrop of three other emails all requesting that I publish their link in my article as specified and increasingly blaming me for using an image for my writing.

Unsplash image license



hustlelead How S.

aspiring writer striving to love the process | Cybersecurity analyst | Physics tutor | Owns bitcoin TW&IG&LI:@hustlelead E:hustle.lead@gmail[.]com