Put this up on your list of places you don’t want to be talked about (not all press is good press).

Increasing the tool set for dealing with BACN (irrelevant messaging to subscribers) and big business spam a new blog has appeared and is already attracting some attention in the email space, the Mainsleaze Blog. A place where anti-spammers will discuss spam from companies that really should know better and the networks supporting the deployment of these messages.

Mainsleaze. An adjective for unsolicited bulk email sent by or on behalf of otherwise legitimate companies. For example, if a company takes the email addresses of everyone who contacts their sales department with a question and puts those email addresses on a bulk email list without first asking for and receiving permission from the recipients, email sent to that bulk email list is mainsleaze spam. If a legitimate company persistently sends bulk email to people who did not request it, that company is a mainsleaze spammer.

I see this as a tool for Email Service Providers (ESPs) to vet potential new clients and see if there are any shady secrets hiding in the past they should be aware of, but I also see a potential powder keg for ESPs where a deep pocketed marketer could take offence to being included on the list or excluded from getting services due to a listing… but I digress.

The first post from the Mainsleaze blog outlines their mission and some of the reasons that they have taken these steps:

    This blog is an experiment. A group of long-time anti-spam professionals and activists want to see whether documenting spam sent by (otherwise) legitimate companies is useful enough to be worth doing. Obviously, we hope to convince these companies and their ESPs not to send bulk email to users who did not request that email. We also hope to publicize those companies that persist in sending spam, and perhaps make that an issue for individuals and companies who might want to do business with the spamming company. Finally, we are sick and tired of seeing companies who should know better sending spam to us and to others who did not ask for it, and want to vent.

I’m not going to advocate for or against “Name and Shame” tactics, doing either usually gets you a headache from the opposite opinion, but I think this will become an interesting experiment into the social world to affect behavioural change and as a tool for ESPs client education and ISP Relations and reputation management teams when working with existing clients and vetting possible new clients.

Follow @MainsleazeSpam on twitter.