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Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007 at 3:03 pm

Does Ziff Davis’s Spam Damage its Brand?

By Jeffrey Eisenberg
February 27th, 2007

Don’t you hate it when businesses don’t take the word “unsubscribe” seriously? I’ve unsubscribed from Ziff Davis’s Web Buyer’s Guide numerous times over the past few years. Yet they still send me emails, promising the latest in brand awareness-related white papers, case studies, and so forth. Every day–every single day–they send me one these:

Ziff Davis, of the Spamalot Davis's

But what about Ziff’s “brand awareness”?

For me, it’s simple: Ziff Davis = spam. (That’s unfair, actually. I have a far better relationship with Spam. Hormel Foods never tried to force-feed me the stuff.) According to Entourage, it’s spam. My Postini filter considers it spam. But what’s worse is that I feel that it’s spam, and since I know I’ve unsubscribed, then it is spam.

If Ziff Davis is spamming you, please comment below and we’ll find the right person and let them know they should cut it out. Who knows? Maybe this could turn into their next white paper.

Add Your Comments

Comments (39)

  1. Ah. So it’s NOT just me… I feel better.

  2. It’s not just you. I wondered if it was just me, a user error, or whatever. I’m hoping we can send them a message.

  3. I wonder if they use an in-house email marketing solution. If not, their provider should not be in business.

  4. Hi all,

    I found a solution to Ziff Davis SPAM. I spent an hour searching every Ziff Davis email on google and come up with the following list.

    info@ziffdavis.com, phil_kramer@ziffdavis.com, kelli_turtz@ziffdavis.com, sandra_gibson@ziffdavis.com, Sloan_Seymour@ziffdavis.com, Martha_Schwartz@ziffdavis.com, Stephen_Veith@ziffdavis.com, Phil_Kramer@ziffdavis.com, angelo_mandarano@ziffdavis.com, lfreeman@ziffdavis.com, chris_maginn@ziffdavis.com, baseline@ziffdavis.com, appscout@ziffdavis.com, larryseltzer@ziffdavis.com, matthew_graven@ziffdavis.com, randy_zane@ziffdavis.com, events@ziffdavis.com, chris_primesberger@ziffdavis.com, opportunities@ziffdavis.com, eWEEK@ziffdavis.com, Debra_Olchick@ziffdavis.com, jeffrey_burt@ziffdavis.com, dennis_barker@ziffdavis.com, mary_hart@ziffdavis.com, gearlog@ziffdavis.com, Sheena_Mohan@ziffdavis.com, askloyd@ziffdavis.com, kristin_holmes@ziffdavis.com, ppereira@ziffdavis.com, debra_donston@ziffdavis.com, Matthew_rothenberg@ziffdavis.com, Evan_Schuman@ziffdavis.com, elda_vale@ziffdavis.com, eric_lundquist@ziffdavis.com, jason_freidenfelds@ziffdavis.com, Mary_behr@ziffdavis.com, john_mccormick@ziffdavis.com, aimee_levine@ziffdavis.com, stan_gibson@ziffdavis.com, Nicholas_mokhoff@ziffdavis.com, dennis_fisher@ziffdavis.com, garcia@ziffdavis.com, darryl_taft@ziffdavis.com, caton@ziffdavis.com, Karl_Elken@ziffdavis.com, barry_ harrigan@ziffdavis.com, andrew_garcia@ziffdavis.com, cameron_sturdevant@ziffdavis.com, chris_maginn@ziffdavis.com, joe_wilcox@ziffdavis.com, peter_coffee@ziffdavis.com, kristin_holmes@ziffdavis.com

    This list includes CEO’s, GM’s Managers, Executives and staff thoughout thier SPAM empire.

    Send an email to all these people with an email subject similer to:

    Violation of Federal CAN-SPAM act of 2003: Request to stop receiving unsolicited emails from ALL Ziff Davis related publications, subsidiaries and websites.

    However, don’t be rude or abusive just politily tell them that thier “unsubscribe” links have not stopped thier spam and that they are in voilation of the above Federal Legislation.

    I sent off this email with a read receipt, and received no reponsce from anyone apart from:

    Sloan Seymour
    President, Enterprise Group
    Ziff Davis Media
    Office: 212.503.4850
    Mobile: 917.273.2774
    Sloan_Seymour@ziffdavis.com

    She apologised, and advisde me I would be removed from all mailing lists. I have happily never received SPAM since :)

    I’m sure you could just email Sloan and help would help you, but the extra emails in the CC feild might add a bit more weight.

    Hope this helps other people out there stop the maddness.

  5. Thanks James. I just tried it this morning. I will let you know how it turns out.

  6. I wrote 10 people at ziff davis an email. I filed a complaint with the FTC. I unsubscribed at least 3 times. I still get Ziff-Davis email on a regular basis. We need a good lawyer to file a lawsuit under the CAN-SPAM act. THEY need to be THE anti-spam example. Any good lawyers out there? Here I am wasting my time googleing “Ziff Davis Spam” to figure out how to end their SPAM. The press is probably the place to go. That could embarrass them into ethics and compliance with the law. YES, ZIFF DAVIS = SPAM. BEST: Lets get them on blacklists. Also, I will now forward them to spam@uce.gov http://www.ftc.gov/spam/ and state the truth, that I have unsubscribed several times.

  7. They have literally dozens of lists: http://www.eweek.com/newsletter_manage/0,1887,,00.asp
    I just unsubscribed to three, looked and saw no checkmark for me being on any, and wrote enterpriseoad@ziffdavis.com which allegedly handles unsuccessful unsubscribes. If they send me any past next Monday I am going to consolidate links to everyone who complained of the same into one giant ziff-davis spam page.

  8. What they do, I think, is keep a master list and when they start up some new venture, like the recent “eSeminars,” they send it to everyone on the master list. BUT when you unsubscribe from the eSeminars list, you are not removed from the master list. They pretty much say exactly that at the end of the email:

    “You are receiving this eSeminars update because you provided your email address to Ziff Davis Enterprise. If you no longer wish to receive updates from Ziff Davis Enterprise eSeminars, unsubscribe here.”

    I’ve gone through this multiple times since this past January, when I made the mistake of giving Ziff Davis my email address when I was trying to use the Web Buyers Guide.

    That “Newsletters Management” page that Kevin Harville found is helpful, but it still doesn’t solve the problem of being on the master list when they create a new publication.

    For example, just today I got an email from the new “Virtual Tradeshows” department. That one is so new it’s not on the page yet. It has the same limited unsubscribe line:

    “You are receiving this Virtual Tradeshow update because you provided your email address to Ziff Davis Enterprise. If you no longer wish to receive updates from Ziff Davis Enterprise Virtual Tradeshows, unsubscribe here.”

  9. I am geting a lot of emails from Ziff Davis even though I have unsubscribed numerous times. I searched Google to find if others have received similar emails and reached this page. Yes, I am receiving a lot of emails from Ziff Davis and consider it spam, though, as far as I know, there is no anti-spam law in India which treats spammers. :-(

  10. I should have added that I’m giving up — I’ve marked the “Virtual Tradeshows” newsletter as spam without bothering to unsubscribe, and soon I’ll never see anything from Ziff Davis again — it will all be filtered as spam by my email client.

    Oh, and yes — it does damage their brand. I’ll never associate with them ever again in any way.

  11. The more I unsubscribe the more frequent new emails arrive. I am now averaging 9 emails per day. Over many months I have tried all the tricks listed above to no avail. Now I set a rule forwarding to spam@uce.gov any Ziff Davis related email before it is deleted. Ziff Davis is synonymous with s@!* in my book.

    Does Ziff Davis’ Spam Damage its Brand? Absolutely! Don’t believe me, just ask any one of your friends if they get Ziff Davis spam. I work in technology and everyone I have talked to about spam says they get Ziff Davis and can’t get rid of it. Their name is mud with technology professionals (their target audience).

  12. I am getting their emails again. I thought it was all done. What can we do to give this even more exposure?

  13. Wouldn’t it be great if we could sign up all the Ziff Davis people for spam so they can feel our pain.

    Their practices must be against the CAN-SPAM Act. They either don’t have working unsubscribe processes or they ignore them and continue sending emails.

    The FTC could make an example out of Ziff Davis. Ziff Davis is a big company backed by CNet so any action brought against them for violation of the CAN-SPAM Act would make big headlines. It would make other companies look intently at their email processes. People would know the FTC doesn’t just go after flagrant porn spammers but also companies that don’t comply.

    The more emails forwarded to spam@uce.gov the better chance we have of the FTC taking action against Ziff Davis.

  14. I am so frustrated with this company I have tried everything to
    get them to stop sending emails (15 a day). Does anyone have
    Jason Young’s email address? I believe he is the current CEO of the Media Enterprise and want to include him in on all correspondence to the spam@uce.gov and the FTC.

  15. I pulled up every message I have from Ziff Davis in my Deleted Items folder, and unsubscribed to each and every one of them (54 in the last month). Lets see if that makes a diference. Of course as they add new campaigns, I will begin to see more and more of them come my way.

    Judging by the naming convention, I would guess Jason Young’s email address would be jason_young@ziffdavis.com.

  16. Ziff Davis has wasted literally an hour of my life in attempts to unsubscribe. OK, here is the deal: You have to unsubscribe from about 20 different newsletters….that you didn’t subscribe to. So I did. And I just got another spam about a month after unsubscribing. And after sending their whole list a request to unsubscribe me. With the words “You indicated that you want to recieve special…” What idiots. Let’s file a can-spam lawsuit. Any lawyers. And file a complaint with the FTC, please: https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01.

  17. I am being spammed again every day, several times a day. It got worse since itstarted a few weeks ago. I’m furious with Ziff Davis. Bryan is also being spammed. He said he was going to write Seymour Sloan again. Good for him. I give up with them. I’ll just make sure that anyone who asks knows what I think about the small minded cretins that manages Ziff Davis.

  18. Not only do they spam you, but when you unsubscribe, you have to manually tick a million sub-subscriptions to then hit unsubscribe. Not that it stopped them spamming me. I do find it ironic that they offer ‘advice’ on Web Marketing. Surely the businesses who pay them to run relevant white-papers would be annoyed at this.

    Jackals

  19. For all those out there still getting spam, hopefully their recent Chapter 11 filling due to being about 230 million in the hole will put an end to it all.

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i3vi6ITN0nO1z1LNfJeaZkvsrTCwD8V7MNDO0

  20. Please, please tell me how to get Ziff Davis to remove me from the Web Buyer’s Guide spam. My feeling about their brand they deserve the bankruptcy!

  21. I am sorry, the Bankruptcy will not end your spam. 1000 Creditors will now own their email list. Congratulations. I just got another ziff-davis email after having a few months off after unsubscribing from everything I possibly could.

  22. I have been getting about 3 per day for the last 2 months. I have also unsubscribed many times. I have e-maild Sloan Seymour and have not received a response from him. I called their main number at 212-503-5900 and randomly entered 4 digit extensions beginning with 5. I never got a person but I left polite voice mail asking for a call back and didn’t give a reason. Only 1 person, Ann Ovodow at x5279 called me back. She put me in touch via e-mail with Noel Fundan. He said he would help but soon gave up. Give Ann a call or e-mail Noel at Noel_Fundan@ziffdavis.com. My next step is to forward each and every piece of SPAM to every employee on James Keppel’s list. I also filed a complaint with the NY State Attorney General’s office. Maybe we should give Sloan Seymour a call on his cell phone (917-273-2774) every time we get SPAM from them.

  23. As a former practising attorney now living in New Jersey, I’ve had it with Ziff Davis. I sent the following e-mail to Ziff now 10 days ago:

    “Dear madam or sir:

    You are in violation of the Can-Spam act of 2003 by failing to honor and/or maintain an opt-out provision. Several attempts to quit receiving e-mail from your company have been ignored.

    EITHER REMOVE ALL E-MAIL TO THE DOMAIN PSIMETRO.COM WITHIN 10 DAYS OR YOU WILL BE SUED IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF MORRIS COUNTY, NJ. DAMAGES SOUGHT TO BE RECOVERED WILL INCLUDED, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, ACTUAL DAMAGES, PUNITIVE DAMAGES, ATTORNEYS FEES, AND COURT COSTS. IN ADDITION A PERMANANT INJUNCTION WILL BE SOUGHT. YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN REPORTED TO THE FTC FOR VIOLATIONS.

    THIS IS YOUR ONLY NOTICE. ANY E-MAILS RECEIVED FROM YOUR COMPANY AFTER JULY 8, 2008 WILL BE PROSECUTED.”

    And of course, it’s now the 17th and more spam than ever. So, it’s to the briefs boys as the penalty for failing to maintain an opt out and/or sending unsolicited spam is $1,000 per violation. I will post a copy of the petition here and brief instructions on how to file in your local jurisdiction; and it’s not hard — you don’t need a lawyer. Just in case some of you aren’t aware, ole’ Ziffy had to file for bankruptcy back in May (there is a God) and a rash of lawsuits over spam and the resulting publicity could put an end to this entire pathetic little company.

  24. Ditto, ditto, ditto. I have unsubscribed at least 6 times over the last 5 years with no results. Fine these guys and shut them down!

  25. Ziff Davis Enterprises is 100% evil; they indeed take your polite unsubscribe request and sell your email address to marketers. Then they really open the floodgates from their own lame seminar mailings. When you get a seminar invite, contact the non-ZD participant running the seminar and tell them that you and everone you know will not use their product due to their association with ZD. Someone give osama bin laden’s bomb squad the address of ziff davis enterprises! They are still in business – like teflon cockroaches – how do you stamp them out?

  26. Ditto. I’ve been trying to unsub since Feb ’08 and if anything get MORE spam now from the company than before.

  27. Multiple unsubscribe requests over the last 3 years or so and I am still receiving SPAM from Ziff-Davis. For myself the ZD brand name conveys an etirely negative image.

  28. I avoid ZD and affiliate links like the plague. Not only do they have a serious spamming problem (no double opt in, unsubscribing doesn’t even help). But the ad content on their articles is overwhelming and overwrought with flash and such. It’s not worth my time to bother with ZD pages.

    Three words, if you please…
    Confirmed opt in.

  29. Same spam situation here. They keep spamming me after many attempts to unsubscribe.

  30. Please be aware that Ziff Davis and Ziff Davis Enterprise are totally separate companies. I continue to get spam from Ziff Davis Enterprise. Here’s a link to a news article about the company and it’s management:
    http://news.corporate.findlaw.com/prnewswire/20080417/17apr20081315.html

  31. I never subscribed to anything, they just started mailing me one day and I have unsubscribed six times, only to be added to some new list every other week.

    I just mass forward their spam to the above list and tell them off. I’m sre someone reads it.

    Lets hope Ziff Davis is the next big company to go under in America so we don’t have to get anymore of their spam.

  32. I have managed to unsubscribe from these, but now I am recieving third party advertisements with Ziff Davis’s name, the most recent being for Maxim magazine. Truly tasteless, and when I called to complain, I didn’t recive so much as an appology.

  33. Ziff Davis should rot in hell!! Their “Web Buyers Guide” should be in part of the definition of SPAM!

  34. I think I’ve unsubscribed from 20 or so lists over the years, but they keep making up new ones for me to unsubscribe from.

  35. [...] was amazed when I typed in “Ziff Davis Spam” into google and got a post dedicated to it. Read it for more details on [...]

  36. I registered our ‘nospam17′ email address when registering on their webbuyersguide last year because I don’t trust anyone. However now we are getting their spams addressed to both our sales-contact and info-contact email addresses, even though we never gave them those addresses. They must visit your website and scrape all the email addresses so they can spam them!

    Is there any way to get them to stop?

  37. I appreciate your insights and the good information you have shared here. All points are significantly important for me and your article have helped me a great deal.
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  38. I refuse to deal with Ziff-Davis and I also try to avoid their advertisers such as Dell. If not for the ads there’d be no SPAM from these criminals.

  39. I have had the same experience for at least 3 years! I have received thousands of Ziff-Davis Spams and unsubscribed arround 20 times of times. The one that plagues me most is “web buyer’s guide”

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Jeffrey Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark. You can friend him on Facebook.

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