Consumerist reader Mel recently signed up to receive updates from DailyCandy.com with the hope of getting the scoop on sample sales and shopping in the San Francisco area. What Mel didn’t expect was a paid political ad for a gubernatorial candidate.
Daily Candy describes itself as a “handpicked selection of all that’s fun, fashionable, food related, and culturally stimulating in the city.” Somehow, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman falls into one or more of those categories, because yesterday Mel received a “dedicated e-mail” from Daily Candy that was a long letter from the Republican gubernatorial candidate about why you should vote for her.
For some reason they thought I’d be interested in the email… I emailed them to ask why the hell they were sending me political emails but they haven’t responded yet. Maybe Meg Whitman’s large sacks of cash were too much for them to resist? I find her loathsome but would have been irritated to get emails about her competitor too. Why potentially alienate half your mailing list for this unrelated ad?
Over on Daily Candy’s “Editorial Policy” page, they state:
No one can pay to be featured on DailyCandy. That’s what advertising is for, and it’s always labeled as such. Selling ourselves (literally) would destroy the legitimacy, integrity, and fun of DailyCandy. Plus, we’d never earn your trust that way. So we’ll never make a dime off your meal at a restaurant or a penny from the sale of the latest accessory we told you about.
That said, on occasion, we will send out Dedicated E-mails on behalf of sponsors. You’ll recognize them from the subject line: Dedicated E-mail. Yes, these are paid for.
And no, we would never sell our subscriber list to anyone. Not for any amount of money.
Well, of course they don’t have to actually sell their subscriber list to anyone when they can just charge the advertisers to use the subscriber list to blast out “dedicated e-mails.”