Egregious opt-out-only marketing from AOL: This message from AOL was forwarded to me by Chris Sandlund. Apparently, you can refuse pop-up advertisements — but you need to keep repeating your refusal if you want it to stick. Chris writes that he’s been an AOL user since 1992, but he’s losing patience: “I’ve put up with a lot of
crap to make sure that I didn’t have to change e-mail addresses, but this is pure B.S.”

Date sent: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 13:54:35 EST
Subject: Your AOL Marketing Preferences
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

America Online, Inc. offers valuable products and services to you by using

pop-up messages that appear on the AOL service. Our relationships with other

companies often allow us to offer unique products and services to you at

discounted prices.

Previously, you indicated to AOL that you preferred not to receive these

valuable offers through pop-ups. Your preference is due to expire December

1st, 1999. If you would like to begin receiving these special offers, simply

do nothing now. If you want to renew your current preferences so you will

not receive these offers, please go to the AOL Marketing Preferences area now

[Keyword: Marketing Preferences or Keyword: Choice].

Should you wish to change your preferences at any time in the future, you may

do so by going to the AOL Marketing Preferences area. Please note that this

screen name can not accept e-mail replies.

Thank you.