Shawn Studer from newsmax.com contacted me today with a statement about the Herman Cain mailing list.
Newsmax Media represents Herman Cain’s email list. This list was not created from his presidential campaign, but from other activities online where respondents doubled opted-in to receive information from Mr. Cain on his views and activities.
At no time are email addresses from the Cain list shared with third parties, advertisers or marketers. Marketers are allowed to place advertisements in the body of the content of emails sent to the Herman Cain list. Mr. Cain and Newsmax adhere to all industry best practices for email sending and marketing.
Looking back at my post, I commented that the list was being rented. When I was talking about list rental, I did not mean that the list was being given to other senders. What I was trying to say is that advertisers are submitting ads to Mr. Cain’s organization and paying him to mail those ads to the list for them.
As for the source of the addresses, the New Republic article had this to say about the source of the addresses.
After Cain dropped out, he donated his enlarged list to Cain Connections, a newly formed super PAC, which then gave it to his new media company. Federal election statutes bar candidates from using campaign resources for personal use, but by passing the e-mail list through his PAC, Cain kept things inbounds. The maneuver, says Matt Sanderson, an election-law expert at the Washington, D.C., firm Caplin & Drysdale, was a means “to indirectly do what you otherwise couldn’t.”Why is Herman Cain trying to cure your ED?
Without getting too much into a political discussion, I think it is extremely unlikely that people who opted in to receive mail from someone running for president expected to receive advertisements for mail enhancement drugs, miracle cures or get rich quick schemes.
An interesting factoid provided by Newsmax is that the Herman Cain list is double opt-in. That does mean that all the recipients are interested in and expecting to receive news from Mr. Cain. And I’m fine with including some advertising to support the mailings. I would be amazed, though, if all the advertisements were expected by the recipients. I did go ahead and sign up for the newsletter advertised on CainTv. It will be interesting to see if they’re still using double opt-in or not. If they are, their confirmation emails are not showing up very promptly.
EDIT: ThinkProgress looks at the marketer selling through Newsmax and other conservative outlets.
UPDATE 2/2: While Herman Cain may have used double opt-in during his presidential campaign, signups on caintv.com are not using any form of confirmation. They’re not even sending welcome messages. I’m not sure why Newsmax told me something that was so trivially falsifiable, but at least some portion on Mr. Cain’s list is not double opt-in.