Subject: Advertising on Usenet
From: pc123@CUS.CAM.AC.UK (Pete Chown)
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 93 19:53 GMT

   Yes, Virginia, it is possible to advertise on Usenet without getting
   flamed.  Here are the rules to remember:

     o The recipient of the message has paid cash to receive it.

Hmm.  I don't like paying cash to receive unsolicited advertising.
That's why when I get faxes trying to sell things (which waste my
paper, of course) I have a standard message that I send back telling
them that they have been blacklisted.

I don't personally pay to read news, but I don't let this stop me
flaming anyone who advertises on there.  Advertising also breaks the
rules on most academic networks.

I remember a company that sent out unsolicited mail (not news) to a
lot of people - about 2M of it, I think.  6M came back, all complaints
and flames.  Some people did the old trick of duplicating their
message a few thousand times before returning it.  In the end, though,
the site lost its network connection because of complaints from the
administrators of large networks - I believe the matter was brought up
at one of the Joint Network Team meetings in the UK.

     o Your posting should be of obvious value to the recipient.

But it can never be, can it?  Not to everyone who reads a particular

     o You should not use hyperbole or exaggerate the value of your product
       or service.

This is just normal good business ethics, nothing to do with Usenet.