Publicis Mojo accidental Spammer for Metamucil

Update, 3:20pm

Just off the phone to the Publicis. There are two issues here: one is the broken configuration of as the reply-to email address. A misconfiguration error.

Thanks to Publicis for reaching out and being honest; and starting to resolve the issue.

From earlier today:

  1. Potential source of the “follow”: I mention metamucil on twitter. No occurrences of this word on my blog until this particular posting. and others such have found the same issue with unsolicited email from the same sender, with similar contents.
  2. Up until this point, I have been a happy and regular user of said fibre supplement brand below. Note that this brand is owned by Proctor and Gamble. I am not going to link out to said product.
  3. The person that received this email is mentioned 5 times on my web site, and there is at least one link from my site to theirs (note: I have “xx”’d the name out below)
  4. The owner and publisher of this web site, Nick Hodge, in no way, explicitly nor implicitly gave permission for any brand: including Microsoft, to use to my blog as “trusted reference sell” nor source of email addresses. Reading Microsoft’s policy on Online Privacy, I am pretty sure that doing this style of “email harvest and reference social marketing” is highly wrong, and contravention of this policy is a serious offence.
  5. “Unsolicited email” is spam. Plain and simple.
  6. The content on my site is (cc) Attribution-Non-commerical Share-Australia 2.1, as per the link at the bottom of each page. I consider this spamming is a breach of my Terms and Conditions.
  7. Subsequently, I am very unhappy with Publicis Mojo. You do not get social media, you are a spammer. Of the worst kind.
  8. I am recommending the receiver of this email report both Proctor and Gamble, and Publicis Mojo as a Spammer as per the Spam Act (2003) and amendments
  9. It seems that the domain name “” might exist, however further research by an white-hat security expert:
    • *.ad is a top-level domain owned by Andorra, the country
    • would be a logical place for ‘publicismojo an advertising agency’ to register; or may be used for internal sites
    • if you send email to ‘’ the bounce back is from the same IP address as in the below spam example:
    • is Publicis Mojo in Australia (as per apnic)
    • robtex has some interesting details on this domain range
From: Blog Seeding <>
Date: 2008/12/9
Subject: For xx

Hi xx,

Sorry for the unsolicited email.

I was reading your blog and noticed you're particularly influential in the blogosphere.  
I even saw your blog reposted on

I'm working on behalf of Metamucil on their new Fibresure product and 
I was wondering if you would be receptive to us sending you a xmas gift pack? 
No obligations, of course! 🙂

Look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Publicis Mojo

15 thoughts on “Publicis Mojo accidental Spammer for Metamucil”

  1. Yeh, saying “sorry for the spam” doesn’t change the fact that you’re spamming people. And surely Publicis Mojo realised having the sender’s name appear as “Blog Seeding” in an email instead of an actual real human’s name would make bloggers go “WTF, spammer?”.

    I’d be interested to see whats in the gift pack for said ‘fibre products’. Hodge… since you’re ‘particularly influential in the blogosphere’, can you get me one? I could use some metamucil branded beach towels. And some sweet smelling orange coloured soaps for the toilet maybe good? 🙂

  2. Hello Nick,
    This is not spam but simply a mix up with our IT dept (the email account was set up incorrectly). We are sending out Metamucil Fibresure Xmas gift packs to a few key bloggers so they can try it for themselves. We mentioned your blog in our message because you are well regarded in the blogosphere.

    Sorry for the mix-up, the email address is fully functioning now. If you are interested, let us know and we will send you an Xmas pack too.

    Producer – Publicis Digital

  3. I am really curious to hear an explanation of how you “accidentally” send spam in this manner. Spam is spam, no matter what spin you put on it.

  4. Dixie

    The ‘spam’ part is getting unsolicited email.

    The mis-use part is not abiding by the license clearly stated on my site; and not seeking permission to ‘reference’ sell a product based on my endorsement.

    Also, the email sent out made it seem like I endorsed the product: and this was done without my permission. The recipients actually thought I had given you their email address: sort of like network selling. A concept I totally abhor.

    Finally, there was no human/contact details at your end to call/email/fax … to talk to. ANY company wanting to do “social” stuff needs to realise it is about real humans. Not call centres, blank emails etc. etc.

    I class this as fail. Epic Fail.

    On the Metamucil side: I own enough for the moment, and would prefer to remain aloof from endorsement.


  5. I got the same smap. Ignored it mostly.

    Interestingly, you weren’t the “trusted reference”, which in my case was Gavin Heaton (servantofchaos).

    I was tempted to note this as another failure of social media and marketing in Australia, but I figured I’d been enough of a curmudgeon this year.

    It’s good to see PM are on to fixing this, but even if the campaign had been not spammy, I find it offensive and annoying to be contacted by a brand/agency and not a human within them.

  6. Oh, I thought I was the influential blogger that got it.


    Oh, well. I think the play of metamucil giving people the $hits is pretty funny.

    But it is a clear display of failure of a PR 1.0 company to get 2.0. It was close, but nope.

    They found me on twitter, so an @ message would have been nice.

    But the biggest failure is not being human. You can’t connect to another human from Mojo Publicis. You have to do it human to human.

    If in doubt, ask one person in the space first. Pay them if you have to, but we’re a nice bunch and will point you in the right direction.

    Nice job Nick.

  7. Heh. This was my response to their email, sent yesterday:

    “Send the email to me again, as a real person and I’ll send you my details. But if you are a spammer, go away! o.O ”

    I’m always up for free stuff. 😛

    I was particularly amused that there was no real person behind “Blogger Relations”. No human beings in the conversation. Well except me and that’s debateable. 😛 *sighs* Social media can be so lonely 🙂

  8. Hello again everyone.
    Thanks for all your feedback and patience. We genuinely desire to do right by the blogosphere and want to be completely transparent on what we are trying to do.

    We researched the Australian blogosphere, finding 25 bloggers who we believed would be interested in a Fibresure xmas gift pack containing a product sample and a few other goodies.

    Using a general email account (to share between a few people), we emailed the bloggers about the gift packs. Unfortunately, the email account was set up incorrectly (which would have appeared pretty odd to the recipients) and we neglected to include any personalization in the message. A couple quick lessons learned (better QA, more personalization) over here!

    Thanks for the opportunity to explain ourselves. I hope you can see we are not trying to be subversive or spam anyone as it might have appeared. If anyone has any questions on this, please contract me directly.

    Producer – Publicis Digital
    02 9258 9367

  9. Thanks Dixie. That’s a pretty good comeback. (except the brand name drop, but not too bad).

    Screwing up, admitting it and then really making amends is one of the best way to wow people and ‘live the flow’ and you’re on your way.

    Putting your phone number in is also good, if you mean it. Better if you use though otherwise we’re still thinking it’s a catchall, which it might be but you can make me feel better about it.

    “Communities, the temperamental mistress. Caring and supporting, but ruthless in a flash.”

  10. Dixie, as much as I’m not a user of the product you’re working with, you’ve won some points by being really open here. Big props to you for that.

    Mick’s right, we’d prefer to talk to *you* and whoever else is on the team at your personal addresses.

    Your busted email explanation sounds kind of iffy, but I think we’re all keen to give you the benefit of the doubt based on your openness.

    Like Laurel, I’m always up for a freebie 😉

    More importantly, I’m now interested enough in this campaign to talk about you on my blog (tonight some time) based on your responses here.

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