Ad for Best-Selling Business Book Poaches Shane Montgomery Photo

"My son hasn't even been dead a month," says his mother.

shane-montgomery-photo-ad-book-predictable-successThe Yahoo homepage is one big mess. It consists of a dizzying amount of graphics, information and click-bait, sort of like Philly.com but without all the racist commenters. And on Thursday morning, something very odd appeared on the page.

In the middle column of the homepage — the automatically-updating list of the site’s content — amid a seemingly endless stream of stories about celebrities, tragedies, and people doing stupid things, along with “sponsored content” (“Public Records: Any Secrets? Find Out Here!” and “MD Advice: How to Remove Dark Spots. See What Leading Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon Dr. John Layke Recommends to Remove Dark Spots Without Surgery.”) appeared a thumbnail photo of Shane Montgomery, the West Chester University student who went missing the day before Thanksgiving and whose lifeless body was pulled from the Schuylkill River on January 3rd after a frantic 36-day search by police, the FBI and volunteer divers.

Was there a new development in his tragic death? Was his family speaking out? Was West Chester setting up a scholarship in his name?

Nope.

His photo appeared there connected to what seemed to be a story about millionaires who dropped out of college before they made it big. And if you clicked on the headline for that “story,” you were taken to the ad seen here for Predictable Success, a Wall Street Journal best-seller by motivational speaker and business consultant Les McKeown, whose clients have included Harvard University, Microsoft and American Express.

The photo is one that was widely circulated to the media and public during the search for Montgomery.

“It’s horrible that somebody did that,” Shane Montgomery’s mother, Karen, tells Philly Mag. “My son hasn’t even been dead a month. This is completely disturbing to me.”

“I’m speechless,” adds Kevin Verbrugghe, Montgomery’s uncle and a spokesperson for the family. “I know that no one from our family would have given permission. This is just ridiculous.”

The ad is hosted on menshealthguide2015.com, a new site that was just registered anonymously in Panama last Friday.

Predictable Success COO Dave McKeown sent us the following statement:

I wanted to let you know that we were as surprised as you are to see something like this. It is not an advert that we put together nor would we ever. It looks like it could be a content aggregator pulling together text and images and quite frankly is repulsive that someone would do such a thing.

If you take a look at what’s in the text of the advert and what our service offerings are – you’ll note that it has nothing to do with our services or books. So again this is not something we put together or condone.

According to a message on the site, the page was sponsored by Predictable Success. The “Try It Free!” and “Get Started for Free” buttons link directly to predictablesuccess.com.

Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter