A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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February 20, 2006

Inside the creepy Miller Brewing spam probe

Many people are creeped out by a report that Miller Brewing is somehow hunting down former "customers" and opting them into spam campaigns.equifax.jpg

Turns out this spooky little spam was the work of Equifax, the big credit reporting agency that shut down its Boca Raton-based spam operation, Naviant, in 2003, due to the impending passage of CAN-SPAM.

But the Miller campaign suggests that Equifax's spamming, and Naviant itself, are alive and well. Customer-contact.net, the domain referenced in the Miller spam, is associated with former Naviant head and longtime ROKSO spammer Scott Hirsch. The IP address hosting the customer-contact.net domain belongs to Naviant.

Thanks to open directories at customer-contact.net, we have a fascinating chronicle of current and historic spam campaigns by Naviant. Here, for example, is the graphic used in the Miller beer campaign.

Naviant also seems to have a similar spam-probe effort underway for an online retailer named White House | Black Market. The messages tell customers the company has opted them in to receive spams. "If you would like to receive updates ... you don't have to do anything."

Naviant's other ongoing e-marketing customers include the likes of CitiFinancial, Sprint, and General Motors.

The Customer-contact.net Optshare directory is also listed in numerous recent spam reports.

Posted by brian at February 20, 2006 10:26 AM


GREAT POST! I referenced it in my blog as well, http://www.soundprinciples.com/ad-verse/

What amazes me is that Miller thinks this is a good thing.

Posted by: Weave at February 20, 2006 10:21 PM

so this seems like a step beyond what returnpath and fresh address do....

Posted by: Gordon at February 21, 2006 10:25 AM

I bet if the email that found her had announced she had won the contest, this would not be an issue.

Posted by: Angela at February 26, 2006 11:25 AM

Angela, good one. But for many of us on the sidelines, there's still an "issue" when a big corporation hires a large credit-reporting firm to track someone down and send him/her email via a chronic spam organization.

Posted by: Brian at February 26, 2006 9:20 PM


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