When does marketing become spamming? A case study with Verve


On June 14th, I got a strange email, apparently Verve said I got a credit alert of ₦5,000.

verve email closed

First reaction was, bloody hell, more spammers! And why are they using Verve? I mean, there are other people to pose as, like banks.

I always open these mails, if not for anything, to see what the new spamming tech is like. But today I was in for a shocker, I got this

verve mail opened

Apparently, someone at Verve had thought it OK to send a mail, as a financial institution, that read “Transaction Alert”.

I swear that I typed out a response to them on Twitter, but I had to keep a good front for my future employers, before they think I’m a horrible person.

Fast forward two months later, and I get another mail

accessbank spam closed

And although the content wasn’t promotional like in Verve’s case, do you see the dangerous similarity in subject lines? Needless to say, this was a scam. I don’t have a Access Bank account, neither do I have a Verve Card.

At what point does marketing turn into full scale spamming? When you think a financial brand can “try” to be witty by faking a credit transaction.

And we see this all to often in Nigeria, mostly because there are no laws in place to penalize brands. We need to be more socially responsible to our customers.

I really wish I saw the guys who crafted (and approved) this, I’d love to know what they were thinking.