Wall Street Journal, Spam, and a Hint of Desperation

June 28, 2009

I have been running around for a week. I returned to dozens of spam emails from allegedly the Wall Street Journal. I clicked on the “don’t mail me these” link and learned that it takes the alleged Wall Street Journal 10 days to process an unsubscribe request. Odd, I thought software scripts executed more quickly. Well, maybe at more progressive outfits. Here’s the deal:

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Now I must say that this graphic approach in the dozens of spam messages I have in my inbox is as catchy as anything from the Viagra vagrants, the PediPaws pushers, or the refinancing idiots.

I don’t like spam, and companies that mail me unsolicited baloney get laser sharp coverage in this Web log. Look at the howls from the Nstein crowd. Bad goose for objecting to multiple copies of meaningless to me email messages. I get lots of email, and I want to get only email directly germane to what I do to get antibiotic shots from the avian vet I frequent. Mine drainage is bad for a goose like me.

Quite professional is the alleged WSJ these days, and after the unsourced story about Steve Jobs’s liver transplant, I think the use of spam to get a person who is * already * a print subscriber to order another subscription is indicative of the desperation at the venerable newspaper.

I spoke yesterday to a former information technology professional about the alleged WSJ’s online service. I think the word he used was “clueless”. And – get this – I have a source too.

I set up a rule to put this enticing missives directly in the trash folder for autodeletion. Unless the WSJ finds a solution to its present troubles, I don’t think I will have to worry too much about this type of AOL-inspired marketing much longer. Nope, I can see the guys who have the Pitchmen TV show tackling subscriptions to the alleged WSJ. I wonder if the Slap Chop writer will be enlisted to explain why I would want to deal with an outfit who spams an existing customer. Oh, oh, I know why. The WSJ marketing manager and / or the alleged WSJ information technology people will say, “We’re sorry. We had no idea that we were sending these messages.” Yeah, I believe that. Perhaps I will dig into my files and recount the sequence of events surrounding the alleged WSJ’s online efforts, culminating with the Factiva fizzle, the direct mail spamming, and the abundance of alleged WSJ content that I can locate on various Web servers? On the other hand, why bother?

If you want this deal and email like I receive, click here. Careful. This outfit might not be the alleged WSJ. I wonder if the WSJ attorneys are checking into this nuisance. Probably not. It’s Saturday. Better things to do.

Stephen Arnold, June 28, 2009

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