Unintended Consequences

January 25th, 2006  |  Published in old and busted

In tonight’s inbox was an apology from a PR agency.

The apology was for “inadvertently” sending me a copy of their newsletter. A quick scan of assorted folders tells me they never sent any such newsletter, which tells me they were trying out the old “Here’s how to harvest a few live addresses” spammer trick by getting me to “unsubscribe” to a list I’m not even on.

I briefly extended the agency the benefit of the doubt until I took a closer look at where the links in their mail led to (a clickthrough tracker), and the images (keyed to my e-mail address). A little more prodding at the message source indicated to me that they got some editorial directory and, rather than doing what 80 percent of the flacks I deal with do and calling to confirm my contact info, decided to tell a little fib with a web-bugged e-mail and a bogus opt-out URL.

I hope, for their clients’ sake, none of their reps use the company domain when they’re mailing editors, because it’s now got a filter straight to the trash all its own. They just burned every client they have who wants even a passing glance from me.

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