Dear Marketing Folks: Leaving A Blog Comment Does Not Mean I Want Your Email

I was added to a Breitbart Report mailing list today (without opting in). The announcement mail assured me that I would be the beneficiary of Breitbart’s “timely news and other information, independent of media bias” and that I was receiving the mail based on my “past interest” which was reflected by my having commented on one of his sites.

Breitbard told the marketing company that I had opted in (screenshot below the fold); that was a lie. I was added to the list, without permission, and had to opt-out to remove myself.

What egocentrism, to think that anyone who commented on one of his sites would want email spam! Comment does not equal agreement. Nor does comment equal “it’s OK to spam me now.”

According to the marketing firm, I opted in to Breitbart’s mailing list on May 19.

breitbart spam
Breitbart Told The Marketing Company That I Had Opted In

But my email announcement sent a different message: “we are requesting your permission to communicate with you via email.”

Hint to marketing folks: If you were truly asking to communicate with me, you’d give me an opt-in link, not an opt-out one.

breitbart spam
Breitbart's SPAM Announcement

Then I had to ask myself … when might I have commented on one of his sites? What happened on May 19?

Google is my friend: My 29 October 2010 comment on

Assertion: “Bigs founder and head of the Breitbart empire Andrew Breitbart will be bringing analysis live from Arizona.”

Denial: “Mr. Breitbart … is not, in any way, affiliated with ABC News. [and]
He has not been asked to analyze the results of the election for ABC News.”


Ah. Yes. I remember this now! I thought I might have posted on BigGovernment during the Shirley Sherrod case. But no, it was election commentary.

I did, however, write this scathing piece for TheModerateVoice last July: Breitbart A Modern-Day Hearst; As Yellow Journalism. Sounds like someone who would want to receive daily email blasts from Breitbart, doesn’t it?

How many times do we have to tell marketing people that opt-in is the route to harmony with current and potential customers?

Opt-out? It should treated exactly like fax spam: against the law.

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By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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