Skip to main content

More Vocus spam

I hate to call people out because, well, it's happened to a lot of us in this gig...but come on. As you may recall I ripped Vocus for their outreach efforts around their Golden Rules for Blogger Relations.

Well, let's add to their web marketing blunders: I got spammed from the now infamous Tami Queen to my work email address because I downloaded their Golden Rules for Blogger Relations. How do I know this is spam? Because the link at the bottom to be removed DOESN'T WORK. In fact, there is NO hyperlink - the words are black with no HTML in sight.

If you would rather not receive future email messages from Vocus, let us know by clicking here.
Vocus, 4296 Forbes Blvd, Lanham, MD 20706 United States

Want to avoid Vocus spam? Do a search for "vocus blogger rules relations" and it comes up, viewable as a PDF or translated into HTML -- so registration and subsequent spam isn't necessary.

So for those keeping score at home, along with blogger relations and email marketing rules they need a quick tutorial on setting up a robots.txt file as well.


Dianna Huff said…
Ok, that's funny you can download the white paper without registration.

I'm sorry you got spammed again (I downloaded that white paper, too, but have not received any other emails).

And it's really bad if the email didn't have an opt-out link.
David Binkowski said…
I think I just got someone at their agency or in their IT group in trouble. ;)
Kye said…

As Product Manager here at Vocus, it is a concern that you are not seeing the link in the email you recieved.

We have thousands of customers sending releases out to journalists and bloggers every day with our software and our marketing team uses our very product to disseminate communications as well. Your occurence of not seeing a link is the first we have heard of this issue. We have been applauded by journalists and bloggers alike for having this feature available, so we must assume that it has been working well.

There can be many reasons for the URL not appearing and we would be happy to address this with you so that we might have a resolution if we were to see this again in the future. I can put you in touch with our support team to look into what may have been the cause for this on your end.

If you could replace my response with this one on your site, it would be appreciated.
Kye said…
In working with our R&D department, this is what we found. If you click on the URL below, do you see the release and the corresponding links in your internet browser? If you do, we suspect that if you were using Gmail to read the release, it did not render the html correctly or is set up to not read html as a default, thus the link not showing.

Kye Strance
Director, Product Marketing

From: Mark Heys
Sent: Fri 6/22/2007 12:15 PM
To: Kye Strance
Subject: RE: Opt out link not showing

This is the actual source of the email that was sent to David (it is written once the email is sent), it can also be viewed on line at It includes the valid opt out link which i verified displays correctly under IE and Firefox. I assume his email client did not render the html correctly. There is nothing we can do to resolve that from a technical side.
David Binkowski said…
When I viewed the source of the email it showed that the "href" part of the link was removed by Notes.

Thank you for following up and clarifying on this, however if 10% of corporations are using Notes I'd provide additional text for those users and/or a secondary way to opt out -- basically I wouldn't have the user assume they can respond to Tami to be removed.
Anonymous said…
Vocus are spammers. I've asked them several times to remove me from their lists. I've even called them, they continue to send "press releases" from just about anyone who hooks up with them.
Anonymous said…
I called Vocus to complain. Of course, I got someone's voicemail. Apparently, the woman in charge of the lists is Beth Coleman and her email address is:
Do with that what you will.
Anonymous said…
I'm actually on the other end of the stick and STILL hate Vocus. As a publicist I pride myself in sending information only to the press to which it is most relevant. Vocus makes this virtually impossible with their incomprehensible and inconsistent search filters.

I did not pitch you anything, but I'm sorry you're catching it and even sorrier that I'm forced to use the evil that is Vocus.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Rick Roll Someone

I've noticed a lot of traffic to my blog from a post I did on Rick Roll. In particular, people are looking for how to do it. So, without further adieu, here's a quick 1, 2, 3 on "How to Rick Roll Someone."

Pick your target. This should be someone not suspecting a peculiar link, email or heads up. Works great if you're the guy/girl in the office known for sending YouTube links via IM
Grab the URL. The YouTube video is probably the easiest to snag, because the URL isn't a dead giveaway. Sites that truncate URLs like SnipURL and TinyURL are handy if you want to send folks to
Pick your delivery method and send! IM, email, blog (wink!), what-have-you.

Please, feel free to get creative. Our programmers used a "Can someone test this site?" email to the office to Rick Roll the entire staff. Or better yet - send the URL along to unsuspecting family members as "Our newest family pictures!".

Another fun way is via conference or phon…

My first Facebook spam!

Well, that didn't take long. I was spammed twice today via my Facebook profile by someone named Andrea Rowe, saying that she likes my profile picture (flattery is my weak spot) and wanted to chat. She's promoting a site through one of the TinyURL-esque sites and let me know that her username is "foxy_hotty". Here's her follow up message:

hi there David, how's it going? i wanted to chat with you, but they don't have that here, whatever. if you'd like to, you can check out my other profile at my username's foxy_hotty. we can chat there, just dont mind the bad pics, lol. soooo, ya, see you i hope.

Yes, I edited the SnipURL ending because I refuse to give spammers free promotion or even worse, the click through. For those unaware, sites like SnipURL and TinyURL allow you to send truncated versions of URLs, which is particularly handy when you're posting URLs to your blog (formatting) or SMS-based tools like Jaiku and Twitte…

Fake Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers -- And the Implications for Brands

This post originally appeared on the Large Media blog.

There's been a lot of talk about Twitter followers lately, including both presidential candidates, celebrities, musicians and the like utilizing services to game their numbers. Specifically, a lot of the "Top 10" have been found to have a substantial amount of fake followers, in some case to the point where 70% of their following is either bots or inactive profiles. Most articles and infographics on the subject are telling, however with a little digging you can find out that there are also social media "experts" utilizing the service to give the appearance of bloated numbers. Intrigued, and given our rare propensity to tweet as an agency, we wanted to see what the fuss was about.

So we gave it a try.


In August we saw some ads on a third party Twitter "profile checker" site  saying they can send a thousand followers your way for $9. The process is pretty simple: select how many followers yo…