Is Disney Spamming Me?

In amongst the waves and waves of email I got this holiday weekend was a very interesting one from vacation.disneyworld.com:

Walt Disney World Logo Graphic


Dear DAVE,

You are receiving this email because you have previously contacted Walt Disney World� Resort. These days, many people prefer the convenience of email communications.

We’ve recently acquired your email address and would like to add it to our mailing list. We fully respect your privacy so if you would prefer that we not do so at this time, click here.

Thank you for your consideration.

Walt Disney Parks and Resort


What do you make of that? Looks to me like they are harvesting different mailing lists from within the company but are doing the heinous opt out rather than the more recommended opt in (note the “if you would prefer that we do not do so…”)

What surprises me about this situation is that Disney does such a brilliant job of marketing its products and services, including online, that it seems ridiculous they’re using an opt-out method of building a new mailing list. Worse, they got my address because I used their Web site to reserve a hotel a few months ago for a visit to Disneyworld: at the time I’m sure that I didn’t give them permission to send me mail about other offers or promotions.

It can only be ironic that the very next morning I received another Disney-related spam message too, this time from the Minnesota Council for Quality, entitled “Disney’s Keys to Excellence on June 16”. How on earth has the Minnesota Council for Quality gotten ahold of my email address? And why is Disney allowing them to spam business people to garner greater attendance at their upcoming training event?

It’s not always easy to understand the difference between email marketing and spam – and no, they’re not the same – but both of these seem to clearly cross the line, and by not opting out, Disney now ostensibly has permission to spam me about vacation offers. Spamhaus, Spamcop, are you listening?

Most importantly, it’s just disappointing. I’ve always looked to Disney as a leader in innovative, intelligent and legitimate marketing, whether online or off, but it appears that their myopic focus on the bottom line, on incrementally improving resort and vacation revenues, is causing them to veer off track and make some poor judgment calls. That’s too bad.

2 comments on “Is Disney Spamming Me?

  1. I agree.
    It would have been much more ethical for them to have sent an opt-in request via “normal”, traditional junk mail, with a 20% discount coupon code that could could enter when registering on their web site.
    But… given that the common mantra for *all* businesses is to cut costs and keep cutting them, how can ethics survive?
    — Jack Krupansky

  2. Seems sad but thanks to the CAN SPAM law they, and every other spammer, have that right now. Unfortunately, all that law did was legalize spam

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