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More on Newsmax and spam to political lists

Things are getting stranger and stranger with Newsmax and the politicians they’re managing lists for.  Earlier this week, recipients on Scott Brown’s list received emails with the subject line “5 Signs You’ll Get Alzheimer’s Disease.” The advertisement was for products and information from Dr. Blaylock, a contributor to Newsmax Health. Scott Brown told the political reporter at WMUR in New Hampshire that he did not authorize this email was cutting ties with Newsmax

Newsmax contacted me after I posted about unexpected email to the Herman Cain mailing list. They wanted to make it clear to me that their mailings were all double opt-in and that they adhered to all best practices. They also said that select advertisers were allowed to put ads in the body of messages from the politician to their supporters.

It seems, though, that may not be the whole truth. After I received the message from Newsmax, I signed up on caintv.com to see if they really were using double opt-in. While it is very possible that Mr. Cain was using double opt-in during the campaign, he isn’t any longer. I started receiving emails immediately, with neither a welcome message or a confirmation message.

In the case of Scott Brown’s list, the advertisement wasn’t from an outside advertiser, the advertisement was for a Newsmax columnist. And the ad wasn’t in the body of a message to supporters, it was the message to supporters. Mr. Brown has this to say about his likeness and mailing list being used by Newsmax.

While the issue of Alzheimer’s is personal to me and an issue I have been working on for years, I did not approve or authorize the sending of this particular e-mail,” Brown told [WMUR]. “Due to this and other issues, I am terminating my relationship with this vendor effective immediately. Boston.com

Newsmax has a poor reputation among a lot of recipients (google help forum, yahoo answers, complaints board) and they’re rather well known among spam fighters. They are, to put it kindly, aggressive marketers. The impression I have from Newsmax is they are the type of marketer that will push as far as they can and only pull back when it starts hurting their bottom line.

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