Honeybaked Ham: Blatant Opt-Out Spamming

Honeybaked Ham, a well-known U.S. company that sells hams and delicatessen items, is sending bulk email to an email address that was closed before 2008, stating that it will continue sending offers unless and until the owner of that email address unsubscribes. Since at least late 2009, this email address has not received email from this sender. The ESP is Yesmail, a subsidiary of InfoGroup.

Sending bulk email to an email address that you do not have permission to include on a bulk email list, and requiring the owner of that email address to unsubscribe if they don’t want future mailings, is called “opt-out”, and is widely considered spamming. In this case, the Subject header indicates that the email addresses on this list belong (or belonged) to customers of Honeybaked Ham, so it is possible that years ago the individuals who owned the email addresses on the list bought something from Honeybaked Ham. It is also possible that they gave their email addresses to Honeybaked Ham. However, Honeybaked Ham does not even claim in this email that the customer requested to be on this or any Honeybaked Ham list. This is blatant opt-out spam.

The U.S. CAN-SPAM law allows opt-out spamming of customers, but all that means is that the U.S. government is not authorized to prosecute companies that send opt-out spam to customers. That doesn’t change the definition of the word “spam”. That doesn’t obligate companies or ISPs to accept this email. In my opinion, Honeybaked Ham mailings should be blocked until they adopt and adhere to opt-in.

Sending IP:

Spam Sample:

Actual Headers:

Received: from smtp.app-media2.com (smtp.app-media2.com [])
        by <xxx> (Postfix) with ESMTP id <xxx>
        for <xxx>; Fri,  9 Dec 2011 10:xx:xx -0600 (CST)
DKIM-Signature: <xxx>
DomainKey-Signature: <xxx>
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
Message-ID: <xxx>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="<xxx>"
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Mailer: MIME::Lite <xxx>
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 16:xx:xx UT
To: <xxx>
From: "HoneyBaked Ham" <IG@app-media2.com>
Reply-To: IG@app-media2.com
Subject: An Invitation to HoneyBaked Ham Customers
X-Campid: cid=<xxx>@app-media2.com
List-Unsubscribe: <mailto:unsubscribe-cid<xxx>@app-media2.com>
X-Pviq: <xxx>
Sender: "HoneyBaked Ham" <IG@app-media2.com>
X-Eid: <xxx>

Readable Email:

From: HoneyBaked Ham <IG@app-media2.com>
To: <spamtrap>
Subject: An Invitation to HoneyBaked Ham Customers
Reply-To: IG@app-media2.com

Shop Online http://ct.app-media2.com/rd/cts?<xxx>

Request a Catalog http://ct.app-media2.com/rd/cts?<xxx>

The Authentic HoneyBaked Ham

Ham Gift Packages

Certified Angus Beef

As one of our valued customers, you are invited to receive email notices about new products, tasty recipes and special promotions. If you prefer not to accept this invitation, simply follow the unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of this message. If you’d like to receive email updates from us, simply do nothing. Soon, we’ll begin delivering exclusive offers and special event information that we know will be of value to you.


HoneyBaked Foods, Inc.
6145 Merger Dr.
Holland, OH 43528-0965

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