Guinness, say hi to the Data Protection Commissioner

This morning, Diageo Ireland (the company behind Guiness) spammed me again, despite my repeated attempts to remove myself from their mailing list.

Thanks to Damien who pointed me in the direction of the Data Protection Commissioner I filled out the complaint form with the following. The Commissioner’s Guidelines for marketing by electronic mail are quite clear and Diageo obviously ignore them. Hopefully something positive will come of this.

On the 8th of April, 2007 Diageo Ireland sent me an unsolicited email regarding a “poker nights” promotion. It appears that someone signed me up, but Diageo never confirmed the invitation. I did not opt in to receive any mailings from them. I also unsubscribed using their subscription page. More details, including commentary about the unsubscribe process are here: http://ocaoimh.ie/2008/02/07/a-pint-of-guinness-flavoured-spam/

Unfortunately, on June 20th 2008, I was spammed by them again. http://twitter.com/donncha/statuses/839602319
I unsubscribed again.

This afternoon I was sent another email from Diageo with the text:
“CONOR,
BECAUSE WE
DON’T WANT YOU TO BE
LEFT IN THE DARK…
Give us a few minutes and we’ll give you so much more
GIVE US A FEW MINUTES
AND WE’LL GIVE YOU
SO MUCH MORE”

Unfortunately I suspect I’ll always get spam emails from them despite the fact that I never signed up for anything, don’t drink Guinness and unsubscribed twice already.

Regards,
Donncha O Caoimh

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?