This morning I read the following message from Google:
- We are splitting the ‘Account Updates’ list into ‘Performance Updates’ and
‘Feature Announcements’. You will be opted in to both lists.
- We are opting everyone in to receive ‘Special Offers’. With the national
roll-out of Google Tags, our new local advertising product, coming soon
we want to be able to share special offers with our valued Places users.
- We are opting everyone in to receive ‘Newsletters’–with all of the new
features we’ve rolled out in the past year (and will continue to roll
out) we want to be able to share tips and tricks so Google Places users
can get the most out of their account.
- We are creating a new set of e-mail communications entitled ‘Market
Research’ to give you the opportunity to participate in surveys and
evaluate new features. We seriously value our user’s feedback when
developing new features. You will not be opted-in to receive this
communication but if you would like to sign up please do so.
I have to admit, I am not only surprised but a little disturbed that Google feels it is acceptable to automatically opt-in every person in their database for “Special Offers’. Internet Marketing has always struggled with stigmas surrounding SPAM and other less than kosher marketing methods. To have Google, a company I respect and use as an example for above board marketing tactics, automatically opt-in all users of Google Places – I have lost a lot of respect for them.
I am sharing this so all users of Google Places are aware that they will now received “Special Offers” whether or not they opted out of them when they originally setup their account.