Press releases in Word format

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Technology
August 19th, 2003 • 8:46 pm

Hot on the heels of the recent BBC article on the hidden dangers of Microsoft Word documents, what do I get in the mail this morning? Not one, but two unsolicited email messages from two different companies that I had never heard of and who had obviously found my email address on the web site. And to both promotional emails are attached press releases in… you guessed it, Microsoft Word format.

One was from a Denmark-based company called Cacidi about a barcode plug-in for Adobe InDesign. The email was unsolicited, but I tend to “tolerate” this if it comes from Mac-friendly companies who sense that we could both benefit from an exchange of information. However, I only tolerate it if it’s done politely, with a short personal email with no attachments first. Not only did these guys send me a generic press release type of email, but it came with an attachment, and the attachment was a Word document! And the Word document weighed over 200 KB! (I didn’t open it, but it must have contained a picture to be that big.) And they sent me two copies of the same bloody email! Can you say red flags galore?

So I send an email reply asking them to remove me from their mailing list at once and highlighting the rudeness of their behaviour… And they dare reply without a single word of apology and asking me to “please calm down just a second” and to tell them to whom they should be writing instead! Some people simply have no manners. And they are PR people!

The other email came from a company called iEnt. Again, never heard of them before. Again, press release as Word attachment. (Only 35 KB this time — but I still am not about to open it.) Probably contains the exact same text as what’s already in the body of the message!

They say that no publicity is bad publicity. I sure hope that I have not encouraged anyone to CHECK out these companies and their products — except for the purpose of doing research on bad marketing practices!

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