Bar Rooms

News Munchies

Spam, Spam, Spam, Egg and Spam!

By® Staff

Originally Posted

George A Hormel brought us Spam, Monty Python invented one of their most popular sketches, and inventive Internet marketers developed the world's most popular unpopular marketing technique.

The term "Spam," derived from a luncheon meat, has come to mean flooding the Internet and Usenet with mindless, mass-posted, irrelevant, inappropriate, invasive, unwanted, unsolicited commercial email (UCE). In the Python skit, the word "Spam" was used more than 100 times; every item on the menu contained unwanted Spam, and a group of Vikings sang a chorus of "Spam, Spam, Spam …" that drowned out other conversation.

Which, of course, is what Internet spam does today.

The FTC hopes to crack down, particularly on spammers who send deceptive email offers, and the Direct Marketing Association has formulated mandatory rules for members who send email sales pitches.

In addition to fraudulent and deceptive spam, the Commission is attacking "claims that you can opt out, when in fact what clicking on the link to unsubscribe will do is simply verify that you have a valid email address, so that you can then get lots of spam instead of a little," according to Howard Beales, chairman of the agency's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Brightmail, an anti-spam software company, estimates that 12 percent of all email in 2001 was spam. Of that, about 36 percent was for products, 24 percent for financial services, 9 percent for spiritual topics, 4 percent for health issues, and 3.6 percent for adult services.

Research firm Jupiter Media Metrix tells us that Internet users received, on average, 1470 junk messages in 2001 and can expect about 3800 annually in five years.

Frankly, we'd be tickled to only have 1470 junk mail messages a year.

Join The Discussion

We will never post your email address publicly; it's used solely as part of our verification process to keep the spammers under control. After submitting your comment or question, you'll receive an email confirmation message with a link back to® that you'll need to click before your post appears for others to see. By submitting this post you agree to the Terms Of Service.