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Aug 10, 2001
Blog Post

Spam goes legit -- Not!

SUMMARY: No summary available.
I'm completely stunned. There's a new company that collects and sell business executives email addresses. They are NOT collecting the emails with permission or any type of opt-in. They are simply surfing the Web and getting their hands on emails any way they can, compiling them into a database and selling it as a business development tool. It's a typical spam play, except with the unique twist that this stuff is searchable by company.

Here's what's weird: they just proudly announced to the world that they closed an angel round of funding. Like spam is a legitimate business. (Not to mention the fact that nobody's getting funded now -- except a spam-enabler?)

Here's what's even weirder: their own privacy policy on their site is one of the best-written ones I've ever seen. It explains exactly what they'll do with your email and why you should feel utterly safe giving it to them as a customer. Oh no they won't rent or give your email to anyone else! They'll just rent everybody else's names to you. OK, huge giant brain disconnect. (There's even a note next to the privacy policy saying "feel safer now?")

Why am I carefully not giving their name away? Because I know some people will want to rush over and buy their stuff, even though it's illegal in some states and countries to send email broadcasts to people who haven't opted in.

Yeah, I did try to contact the company for comment, but nobody was home. In the meantime I can bet you their excuse for this sorry biz model will be, "Oh but we only intend for customers to use the email addresses for one-to-one communications -- not spamming." Thing is, their target market is sales reps. And we all know most sales reps are not exactly overly-enlightened about what's ok and what's not with email. I've been spammed many, many times by sales reps from companies whose marketers have strict anti-spam policies. Except the rep didn't know or understand them.

Ok, end of rant. (I feel better now.)
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