A pint of Guinness flavoured spam

It seems that someone signed me up for “Guinness Poker Nights” and Guinness, God bless their black hearts, saw that as an invitation to spam me in the future.

I don’t know how to play poker, I have no interest in it, I don’t like the taste of Guinness. Why didn’t Guinness ask me to confirm the invite? That would seem like the most polite thing to do. Who the hell is Conor Wiley? I bet he knows the other Donncha who told all his friends and colleagues that my gmail address was his address. I was CCed on a few very personal emails for a day or two going back a bit ..

Since that time I’ve received a couple of spam emails from Diageo, the owners of Guinness. The first one gave me a start. I wondered if Guinness had started spamming people, but then I had things to do and never investigated. Here’s the latest email from Guinness:

There is a “Privacy Policy” link but that brings you to this page where I’m asked for my location and date of birth. The form has to be filled out before reading the policy. *sigh*

The “unsubscribe” link goes to http://trc1.emv2.com/I?a=A9X7CquNqKyt8QHHs6FEYtzjJX which the redirects to www.diageobrandsunsubscribe.ie. Finally, I thought I was getting somewhere, but no. To stop them sending me more spam I must fill out my name, address and email, despite the fact that I clicked on an identifying URL in the email.

Thankfully, entering, Mr. Blah Blah of 131215 and my email address into the unsubscribe form worked. I hope.

Diageo – please learn from your mistake. You should confirm invitations and registrations by email, especially when you send out marketing material.
Here’s what the Data Protection Commission says about spam. I certainly didn’t opt-in anywhere to be spammed. What do I do next?

5 thoughts on “A pint of Guinness flavoured spam

  1. Eh be considerate for those who eh do drink guinness…sign up the forms and hook a brother up 😉

    I signed up for the poker set and just made up 4 bogus gmail addresses.

    Diageo rang me a couple weeks later and asked me to take part in a phone survey that would take at least 3-5 minutes. half an hour later (dont ASK me why i stayed on the phone) i was still answering ‘yes – no – maybe’ or ‘i strongly feel against that statement – i personally think your lying’ etc etc

    Poker set was bang on and they keep mailing me guinness vouchers so quids in : ) Have to say i havent received any spam tho 😀

  2. Intesting that the comments section on your blog requires an email address to be entered… hmmm…

    Anyway, the first email was not, legally, SPAM. You didn’t request it, but Conor did, on your behalf. Because of this, you received a one off email. It’s similar to ‘share this with a friend’ on other sites, like Amazon.

    My guess is that Conor either made up an email address (which happened to be yours) or entered the wrong email address of a friend. Your email address, after all, is a bit ‘generic’ – how many Donnchas are there in this world?

    The 2nd email you received, though, is wrong. This I agree with you about.

    I can only guess there was an error in the data, as Guinness/Diageo operate an strict Opt-In (not an Opt-Out) policy – you have to explicitely give them permission to email you. You obviously didn’t, so that implies a coding or data error, either on the Guinness site, or in the ‘Master’ data that the 3rd party company who sent the email to you own.


  3. T – Maybe the first one, but it wasn’t me who signed up for it. “donncha” a generic name? I really don’t think so. There aren’t that many of us around.

    And the third email was wrong too. I unsubscribed at least twice, and possibly tried the unsub procedure more than once on the second go.

    Email is required on the comment form for anti-spam purposes. It makes it much easier for Akismet to stop the comments.

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