Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Ex-Ozy Employees Say Company Used Dubious Tactics to Build Email Subscribers

One of the reasons I linked to coverage of the Ozy meltdown at the end of last month is because I was apparently one of its email subscribers, but I could not remember registering. But I did notice that my earliest emails from the company were co-branded with Wired, which I was subscribed to at the time. Is that a coincidence?

Jemima McEvoy, Forbes:

Ozy Media boasts that it has more than 26 million subscribers for its newsletters, but former employees say this is another example of deceptive tactics at the embattled digital media company, with most of the email addresses on its newsletter lists either purchased, taken from other companies without their permission or added back to the lists after the recipients unsubscribed — a potentially illegal act (representatives from Ozy have not responded to Forbes’ repeated requests for comment).

[…]

Among the companies they say Ozy collectively accumulated millions of email addresses from were the McClatchy newspaper chain and the technology magazine Wired, according to two of the former employees (McClatchy and Conde Nast, the parent company of Wired, did not respond to requests for comment from Forbes).

It is not a coincidence.