Ammado spam

Quoting an old job post: ‘ are a new online global community with headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. ammado are developing a fun interactive online entertainment platform catering for a huge global market, using the latest technologies.’

Well, using that and spam, it seems. Look what just arrived in my inbox:

  • X-Spam-Status: No, score=-8.0 required=5.0 tests=BAYES_50, EXTRA_MPART_TYPE, HABEAS_ACCREDITED_COI, HTML_MESSAGE, RP_MATCHES_RCVD,SPF_PASS shortcircuit=no autolearn=unavailable version=3.3.0-r650054
  • X-Spam-Relays-External: [ ip= ident= envfrom= intl=0 id=4856CBA51B8 auth= msa=0 ] [ ip= rdns= helo=amsrvmail001.ammado.local by=amsrvmail001.ammado.local ident= envfrom= intl=0 id= auth= msa=0 ]
  • From: Peter Conlon <pconlon/at/>
  • Date: Mon, 26 May 2008 10:45:11 +0100
  • Subject: UNHCR asks the blogosphere for help

UNHCR and ammado, are reaching out to the blogosphere in an effort to spread the word for this year’s World Refugee Day on June 20th and raise awareness of the situation of refugees all over the world!

This year, World Refugee Day is about protection, the heart and soul of UNHCR. With rising oil prices, decreasing food supplies, the adverse affects of climate change, the ongoing crisis in Darfur and a high number of unexpected natural disasters including those in Myanmar and China, the world’s refugees have never been more in need of protection.

Another day, another spam. They also spammed Donncha, Michele and Damien, so it sounds like they’re doing the rounds of the Irish blogosphere.

(Update: add Tom, Suzy, Alexia, squid at Limerick Blogger, and Grandad at Head Rambles to that list, too.)

However — the hit on the HABEAS_ACCREDITED_COI SpamAssassin rule means that Ammado are a member of the Habeas Accredited Confirmed-Opt-In program, meaning that they have undertaken a bond to only email people who signed up to receive their communications using “confirmed opt-in”. I have never had any dealings with Ammado, or opted in in any way to receive communication from them — let alone confirmed an opt-in. This is out-and-out unsolicited bulk email, or spam, so this may turn out to be an expensive mistake for Ammado.

If you also got spammed by a Habeas-accredited sender, send a complaint to complaints /at/ This is how the Habeas system works…

PS: This is a good illustration of how spam is not Unsolicited Commercial Email, but UBE — Unsolicited Bulk Email. Even though this is non-commercial, it’s still spam!

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  1. Posted May 26, 2008 at 17:14 | Permalink

    You’d think either we’d get used to being targeted by spammers, or companies would get a clue and not spam bloggers. It rarely results in a positive way for the spammer involved. Grrr.

  2. Posted May 26, 2008 at 17:34 | Permalink

    Dear Jason, my name is Anna Kupka and I am part of the ammado team. On behalf of ammado I would like to apologize to you and those who feel that ammado spammed them with unsolicited emails. We sent out an appeal to the blogosphere as we believe that you guys are in the best position to spread the word about the humanitarian crises which are happening around the world. We didn’t expect that this appeal would be regarded as spam and were obviously mistaken in this assumption. Our sincerest apologies for this – we will do our very best to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. We are still in beta (redesigning the site right now which will be launched in June). Processes have yet to be optimized and as we aspire to continue to be a site which wins people’s trust, we will do our very best to avoid a repeat of this situation. Please feel free to contact me anytime if you want to discuss further, best regards, Anna

  3. Posted May 26, 2008 at 18:46 | Permalink

    They hit me as well, and I certainly cannot remember signing up with them. In fact I cant remember ever having heard fo them before today…

  4. Posted May 26, 2008 at 19:43 | Permalink

    That’s a fantastic non-apology there isn’t it? I’ll keep my abd language to my own blog about Spammado. Funnily you got Justin’s name wrong in the comments but got his email right.

  5. Posted May 26, 2008 at 20:08 | Permalink

    For getting Justin’s name wrong in the post: sorry Justin! For getting it right in the email: well, at least we got one thing right. But please let us not loose sight of the core message – world refugees – and help where we can.

  6. Posted May 26, 2008 at 20:27 | Permalink

    Says the woman that indirectly makes money from their suffering.

  7. Posted May 26, 2008 at 20:49 | Permalink

    Got the mail too and also had no dealings with Ammado before this morning.

    Not a great first impression it has to be said.

  8. Posted May 26, 2008 at 21:04 | Permalink

    You can forward the email to Habeas, as they’re clearly not compliant with the Habeas terms of service: [email protected]

  9. Posted May 26, 2008 at 21:11 | Permalink

    hi Anna —

    Thanks for responding. Unfortunately unsolicited bulk email is spam, regardless of the worth of the message inside; when you get thousands of unwanted mails daily, it all adds up. Hence my annoyance!

    However, I’m glad to hear that the company won’t be doing it again — confirmed opt-in, as required by Habeas, is exactly the right way to avoid it, and ensure users’ trust is maintained intact. When dealing with email, it’s critical to get that right.

    (PS: for what it’s worth, I’m well used to the Justin/Jason thing, with “Mason” as my family name, it’s been going on for nearly 35 years now ;)

  10. Posted May 26, 2008 at 22:08 | Permalink

    Forgiveness is easier to ask for than permission… but when it comes to spam I give neither. You don’t see amnesty or the red cross spamming anyone.

    (And I almost wrote Jason in the anti-bot box)

  11. Lee Maguire
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 02:01 | Permalink

    This is how the Habeas system works… I think I spent 15 minutes trying to find the correct email address on their website last time I got spammed by a Habeas licensee, before giving up.

    Incidentally, do habeas publish the results of any action they take against their licensees? (Similar to the ASA adjudictions as an example.) I couldn’t find anything like that on the Habeas website.

  12. Posted May 27, 2008 at 11:17 | Permalink

    Generally, Habeas are reasonably open regarding their actions — I’ve seen follow-up reports CC’d to our bug tracker or dev list. But I don’t know if they publish them publicly.

    I wasn’t able to find the complaints address either on their site; it’s a bit of a complex mess. :(

  13. Posted May 28, 2008 at 11:27 | Permalink

    More proof, if proof were needed, of rule#3 (and perhaps also Sharp’s Corollary to rule#1)…

  14. anonymous
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 12:31 | Permalink
  15. Posted August 11, 2010 at 12:03 | Permalink