back to article Florist kicks up a stink about false phish alarm

A florist is complaining that MessageLabs wrongly identified emails it was sending as infected with a computer virus. The November edition of the monthly newsletter email sent out by Arena Flowers was wrongly identified as a phishing email. That in itself would be bad enough, but MessageLabs compounded the problem by attaching a …

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Linux

Bah

That'll teach 'em for using html email.

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Happy

That'll teach 'em

... for associating themselves with PayPal!!! :D

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Anonymous Coward

In fairness

That does seem a rather stupid thing to do on the florists part. Same thing happened to my company, who rather stupidly issued a promotion where survey respondants could win an iPod. Guess what the subject line was?

"Win a free iPod, Take our survey today"

Guess what? We didn't get a single respondant, and we ended up on a spammer blacklist, as the retards in management blasted it out to everyone in our marketing database.

Now we have someone who checks our emails for stuff that will obviously upset filters, and we request users add us to their safe senders lists, but it does still make me wonder how much business we actually lose to false positive filtering.

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Arena thoughts

Interesting feedback. I agree that it could be risky putting the word PayPal, Amazon or iPod or any other big brand name in the subject line and we're always very careful about this. However, just two weeks before we'd tested doing pretty much exactly the same thing in a previous email (ie we had PayPal in the subject line) and there had been no ill effect from MessageLabs or anyone else, so we felt it was safe to repeat two weeks later. Oh well. Live and learn!

PS given we sell flowers, having nice images of flowers in the email is very effective, far more so than a text email could be!

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