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Please tell me you know those blink tags can affect his rankings. I am down on my knees for someone here to tell me some site was rejected on some directory because of it.
As for the rest of the site I can remove those </font></font></font>, add a couple of page titles,heading,comments,metatags,keywords,alt,noframes,frame names and such here and there to try to make it worth a submission.
I will keep this site far away from ANY HTML validator. It would crash the poor machine.
Mackin's right. I'd use the "It may hurt us in the directories, and its benefits are not worth the risk" as an reason to present to the client. It's subjective, but plenty of SEO is based on minimizing risks.