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Followup to EEC spamming

Ken has a followup to his article last week about the EEC spamming.

Multiple e-mails obtained by this newsletter clearly show VIV was prospecting the EEC member list from its servers in violation of the EEC’s own privacy policy. [...] Moreover, one reader sent this newsletter two separate free issues of two different editions of VIV that were spammed into his inbox on two different days. So Mullen’s claim that the effort only involved one issue of the magazine is nonsense.

So let’s recap: That’s at least two issues of the magazine—one of which was sent three times—and at least one standalone prospecting e-mail spammed into the inboxes of the members of an organization ostensibly dedicated to setting standards in the e-mail marketing industry.

I have to admit, I am not hugely surprised that the EEC is behaving this way. The DMA has long been the organization pushing for no limits on spamming. In 2003 I was sitting on a panel with Bob Wientzen at the FTC spam summit where he stated that direct marketers did not want to spam people, they just wanted the opportunity to take a single bite out of the apple. With millions of small businesses in the US, it does not take long before that apple is gone. In my experience the DMA has never been on the side of restraint or control in marketing. They seem to be all about sending more and more advertising at consumers, with the consumers unable to control  either their own personal information or the amount of junk they have to get rid of.

If this seems contrary to my post on the EEC mailing from last week, it is. I was giving the EEC the benefit of the doubt. Taking their statements at face value and giving them the opportunity to use their experience as an example of how not to do things. This week there is even more evidence contradicting their statements and explanations.

I was not the only person to give the EEC the benefit of the doubt. Ken takes a little bit of issue with that.

Does everybody get this now? Because judging by various blog entries last week, it seemed some people were simply chalking up to a learning experience the fact that the EEC handed over its members’ e-mail addresses to a private company—for whom the EEC’s co-chair, Mullen, just happens to be the vice president of marketing—to spam them multiple times with an irrelevant and inappropriate acquisition campaign.
Folks, this is not a teachable moment. Everybody in this industry knows not to pull the nonsense Zinio pulled in cahoots with the EEC—everyone, that is, except apparently the one organization claiming to be dedicated to pointing out sh*t everyone else should and shouldn’t do.

He is right. The EEC is supposed to be a leader in the industry and they should not be pulling these boneheaded moves. They should know the pitfalls and be held to higher standards than the rest of the industry.

8 comments

  1. Tamara Gielen says

    Wow, Ken really is on a war path, isn’t he? He made his point last week and the eec heard it. I don’t think there is a need to rub it in. The eec made a really bad and ugly mistake but you can take my word for it that they have learned from it and that it will not happen again. I am not going to blog about this because I really do believe in the value of the EEC and what it brings to the industry. It’s okay to call out a mistake, but do you really need to destroy an organization that is so worthwile? I don’t think so…

    Just my 2 cents…

  2. EEC Member says

    What’s worse is the emails were not CAN-SPAM compliant, lacking both a physical address and an unsubscribe link.

  3. J.D. says

    Tamara, can you point us towards some unequivocal successes of the EEC?

  4. Another EEC Member says

    I’m not seeing which organization Ken (or Laura) “destroyed,” Tamara. Could you clarify?

    All I see is somebody who spammed, has made it clear in follow up comments that they *don’t* get it, and seemed to have missed the opportunity for contrition and education.

    I don’t see Ken as responsible for any of that, nor Laura.

  5. EEC Member says

    Well, the EEC did standardize the spelling of the word “email”! Doesn’t that count for anything?

  6. Email Marketer says

    There’s is no doubt that value exists for an email marketing association to assist the industry. But the EEC lost their value by spamming their members. They broke THE rule (!) and have yet to make any moves to right the situation.

  7. Word to the Wise » Recent comments says

    [...] 16 May 2008 at 10:28 am | Tagged as: Definitions, Marketing, Meta On my followup EEC post Tamara comments The eec made a really bad and ugly mistake but you can take my word for it that they have learned [...]

  8. EEC Followup at Word to the Wise says

    [...] was just forwarded email from the DMA about the EEC issue. To their credit, the DMA took the problem seriously. The email says:  I wanted to contact you [...]

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