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NY Times accidentally spams 8 million people

04 Jan 2012 2:54 GMT Back
NY Times accidentally spams 8 million people
Newspapers on a keyboard

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The New York Times accidently emailed eight million people offering half-price subscriptions to the paper in a huge Christmas holiday blunder. 

An email that was supposed to go to 300 people who had recently decided to cancel their subscription went out to millions of people on the newspaper’s email marketing list. 

The newspaper then sparked off rumours of a security breach when it tweeted “If you received an email today about cancelling your NYT subscription, ignore it. It’s not from us”. 

Initially, the newspaper honoured the discount, giving it to people paying full subscription who had no plans to leave. The Times soon changed its policy and stopped handing out the discounts. 

Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy later admitted the error in an email. “This email should have been sent to a very small number of subscribers, but instead was sent to a vast distribution who had previously provided their email address to The New York Times. We regret the error.”

The blunder also led to some unwanted publicity for the NYT. A fake Twitter account called @NYTSpam gained 152 followers within a day by making fun of the gaffe. 

The fake account description says “Parody account. Not affiliated with @NYTimes or actual spammers – just sick of bad digital strategy.”

Posted by

Sarah Wright

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