So I got a bead on this corporate client that wants to bring their marketing into the 21th century. They are in 80 markets nationwide, heres the kicker: they are landscaping and a whole-saler to real estate developers or contractors and they want to get into residential sales.

Their in-market locations are merely distribution centers, and they are ill-equipped to deal with consumer sales face-to-face or over the phone (despite having 600+ employees). So they got an idea to build a website that is retail-friendly and if they cant close the deal online they want to connect the lead to a preferred contractor.

Now heres where it gets iffy: the new website has a different URL (ok, not a problem), the new website has a name different than the parent company (ok...doable), I cant use the new website on the existing listings of the parent company. In fact they want a massive firewall between the two ventures. Im getting a "CIA-East doesnt want to play ball with CIA-West" vibe, because they want developers and contractors going through the old site and they think that messing with old listing will interrupt sales.

But heres the problem, they dont like the RL traffic the parent company gets from their listing, yet I cant divert that into the new website.

So instead they want me to create listings in each market, that services an area, but hides the physical address, does not have the business phone number of the parent business.

Im dealing with the internal ethics of claiming the parent companies listings, changing the URL and the business name so that customers are going through the desired website with new name, and retail traffic stops going through the parent website. (which is what both sides want)

Is that the best course? They dont really like that idea, but I dont think they would notice...at all. They said they preferred a new listing joined to the new website, even if it starts at the bottom of the stack.

What would you do?