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Toyota Claims Woman "Opted In" To Faux Email Stalking 667

Posted by timothy
from the give-marketing-new-prescriptions dept.
An anonymous reader writes "ABC News is reporting that a California woman is suing Toyota for $10 million for sending her email that appeared to be from a criminal stalker. The woman claims the emails terrified her to the point that she suffered sleeplessness, poor work performance, etc. Toyota says the ruse was part of a marketing campaign for the Toyota Matrix. A Toyota spokesman says they are not liable for the woman's distress, because 'The person who made this claim specifically opted in, granting her permission to receive campaign emails and other communications from Toyota.'"
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Toyota Claims Woman "Opted In" To Faux Email Stalking

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  • Opted In (Score:5, Funny)

    by inglishmayjer (1417713) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @03:45PM (#29762083)
    Yes! I'd like to receive death threats, disturbing messages, and other items of a stalking nature from Toyota Motor Corporation.
  • Re:Opted In (Score:4, Funny)

    by mapsjanhere (1130359) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @03:47PM (#29762123)
    Could be worse, Apple could be threatening you with replacing all your operating systems with Windows ME.
  • by oldhack (1037484) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @03:48PM (#29762129)
    Lawyers are suing marketers for trying to out-douche them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 15, 2009 @03:50PM (#29762167)
    Not to be pedantic, but it's all right there in the EULA. See below (emphasis mine):

    Limitation on Scope of Content
    The Toyota Web site, toyota.com, contains information regarding Toyota and its products and promotional programs. The Toyota vehicles described on this site contain uniquely American specifications and equipment and are offered for sale only in the continental U.S.A. The promotional programs described on this site are only available in the continental US and may be limited to particular states as described by the program. All pricing information referred to on this site is in U.S. dollars.

    No Representation or Warranty
    Toyota reserves the right to modify the information contained on this site at any time without notice. While Toyota makes all reasonable efforts to ensure that all material on this site is correct, accuracy cannot be guaranteed and Toyota does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or authenticity of any information contained on this site. By viewing this site, you agree to release and indemnify Toyota from all legal responsibility arising from sending you emails, hiding in bushes outside your house, picking through your trash and dry-humping your dog, cat and/or hamster(s). This site and all information and materials contained herein, is provided to you as is without warranty of any kind.
  • Re:Yep (Score:4, Funny)

    by Thruen (753567) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @03:50PM (#29762175)
    Obviously you've yet to interact with the mysterious beings known as "women" or you'd realize that the typical woman has fragile emotions. Imagine that they did this to your mother, or grandmother, and how they would react. I honestly can't even continue because frankly, it's making me mad that people like you are out there convincing any possible alien observers that we're still to stupid to handle a formal greeting.
  • by mshannon78660 (1030880) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @03:55PM (#29762239)
    Maybe they were hoping for Stockholm syndrome to set in?
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:01PM (#29762359) Journal

    I work in research with human subjects, and there is no way this constitutes informed consent.

    Hah! I am Vwerd from the Planet Klwrhaz, and I also work with human subjects. That is why we will insert a small device in your visual cortex which flashes pictures of naked supermodels. Dare you require informed consent?

  • by wealthychef (584778) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:03PM (#29762387)

    she suffered sleeplessness, poor work performance...

    Unanswered question: how was her work performance before the emails? Was it really that much worse?

  • Re:Opted In (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:06PM (#29762457) Journal

    Apple has been running a very creepy campaign recently where they get people in berets to sit in corner shops with Macs and sneer at potential customers.

    Oh, sorry, I've just been informed that that wasn't a marketing effort at all, those were just regular Mac users.

  • Re:Yep (Score:5, Funny)

    by kalirion (728907) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:07PM (#29762475)

    This "Goatse" kitten is the second ugliest kitten I've ever seen!

  • Re:Really? (Score:2, Funny)

    by RsJtSu (569959) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:08PM (#29762489)
    I also think that it is funny that they stated in the article that this marketing campaign failed....but they use pretty words like "It did follow our projected timeline."

    LOL

  • by jeffyboz (1027792) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:09PM (#29762525)
    Here's their IM campaign: toyotamarketing: *heavy breathing* ambermate: who the hell is this? toyotamarketing: what are you wearing? ambermate: i'm calling the police toyotamarketing: is your husband home? ambermate: 9-1-1 toyotamarketing: they can't stop me, i'm driving a prius with the all new Pre-Collision System ambermate: you crazy f%^k, i have a shotgun toyotamarketing: i have Driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System ambermate: FUCK OFF!!!!!!!!! toyotamarketing: lol--tell you what? i won't come over if you come down to the dealership tomorrow... i'll make you an offer you can't refuse ;-)
  • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) * on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:20PM (#29762715) Journal
    AC == small "device". Heh heh heh. I knew it.
  • Re:Yep (Score:3, Funny)

    by sdpuppy (898535) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:22PM (#29762749)
    Whew, thanks thats a relief - so those phone calls that I've been getting from Samara Morgan for the past 7 days are fake ack2^@%!$@6....
  • Re:Opted In (Score:5, Funny)

    by SnarfQuest (469614) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:31PM (#29762873)

    If I received messages like that, I'm sure that I'd immediately run out and buy the car. Would that work for telephone soliciters?
    CALLER: I'm coming over to kill you!
    ME: Why yes, I'd like to test drive your new car.
    CALLER: I'll also rape your dead body!
    ME: Really! A free cookbook with a test drive. Awsome.

  • Re:Yep (Score:3, Funny)

    by Cro Magnon (467622) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:34PM (#29762909) Homepage Journal

    Fear sells. The media's been doing it forever. Do you all really believe that you're going to die from the same fucking flu you've been getting (and living through) almost every Winter in your entire life?!

    To be fair, the claim is that this is a different fucking flu than the one we've been living through every winter. Everyone knows pig flu is scarier than human flu!

  • by bennomatic (691188) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:34PM (#29762917) Homepage

    I was leaning toward a small Honda anyway

    Would that be the Honda Fit? It's a small, 5-door competitor to the Toyota Matrix which outperforms it in all customer satisfaction metrics, as well as fuel efficiency and crash safety. Plus, instead of steel, it's made of chocolate. Delicious AND biodegradable.




    Don't tell anyone that we're 'turfing for Honda's PR company!

  • by EdIII (1114411) * on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:35PM (#29762935)

    Those girls are hot, though. Crazy, but hot.

    Interestingly, Crazy girls most of the time are not also Hot, but Hot girls most of the time also turn out to be Crazy.

  • by colesw (951825) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:40PM (#29762989)
    You can totally sue, they only mention cats, dogs and/or hamsters!
  • Re:Yep (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:43PM (#29763013)
    Need a modification for "obscure reference"
  • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:45PM (#29763039) Homepage Journal

    These days, the calls during dinner time are from machines too.

  • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) * on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:48PM (#29763101) Journal
    $_EVIL_RANT = "true"

    When I first read the article, it made me realize that my least-favorite people were neatly represented here; a gold-digger playing "Lawsuit Lotto", brainless marketing drones, and two sets of evil lawyers; a) the lawyers who wrote a shitty, incomprehensible opt-in, and b) the ambulance-chasing losers inciting this woman to get every penny she thinks she deserves.

    What I propose is simple. Arm them all with machetes, and drop them in a pit. Last one standing get lifted out, bandaged, and after convalescence is put to work earning a modest but honest living for the rest of their life.

    Within 1 year, I predict that frivolous lawsuits would mostly cease to exist, legalese would become plainer, and slimy marketing campaigns would become scarce.

    $_EVIL_RANT = "false"

    The preceding text may contain hyperbole and derision, substances which the State of California has determined can cause cancer and advanced stages of whining. By reading this post, you agree to the following:
    a) you are opting in to reading it, you agree not to hold the writer responsible for your personal wretchedness,
    b) you agree not to take the writer literally, and/or post responses implying the above proposal was in any way serious (unless you are a television producer, and are willing to pay me lots of money to produce this as a prime-time sporting event),
    c) you agree that if you have mod points, you will award the writer +1 (of any positive category of moderation),
    d) and most importantly, you agree not to sue the writer in an attempt to pay off the credit cards you maxed out a couple years ago. Plus, I have no money, so suing me won't do you a damn bit of good anyway.
  • by mujadaddy (1238164) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:50PM (#29763123)
    Just to hide out from Johnny Law for a tick, luv.

    Click here to unsubscribe from the Bowser the Homicidal Maniac's Road Tour
  • by djdevon3 (947872) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:52PM (#29763159)
    They'll never be able to sell her that matrix now...
  • Re:Yep (Score:0, Funny)

    by HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) <lajollahomeless@hotmail.com> on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:58PM (#29763211) Homepage Journal

    call waiting on dial-up

  • Have mercy! (Score:4, Funny)

    by shadowbearer (554144) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @05:18PM (#29763429) Homepage Journal

    If imbeciles didn't hire lawyers, what would all the two-bit lawyers do for a living? Please, someone think of the 2b lawyers! They have children too!

    SB

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 15, 2009 @05:29PM (#29763533)
    It's hard to get unsigned shorts these days. It's all Versache this and Calvin Klein that.
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @05:37PM (#29763623) Journal

    Just wait until the New GM (Powered By Your Tax Dollars) comes out with its own ads threatening to beat you to death with a tire iron unless you buy one of their cars. It's a whole new wave of marketing!

  • Safe word? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @05:46PM (#29763707)
    What was the Safe Word, Toyota? If she really opted in, there was one. I bet you they'll say next that when she said "no", she really meant "yes", so it was consensual.
  • by Xmastrspy (1170381) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @06:16PM (#29764017)
    I agree. I can't imagine how the meeting at Toyota went when they came up with this idea...

    Boss) We need to come up with an edgy new marketing scheme...
    Guy 1) Hey, let scare the shit out of some lady.
    Guy 2) Yeah, Lets make up a fake stalker!!!
    Guy 1) Sweet... Lets make him a criminal too!
    Guy 2) Serial Killer?
    Guy 1) Naw, Just a regular criminal.. Maybe petty theft?
    Guy 2) From a different country?
    Guy 1) Oh I like the way you think!!!
    Boss) This is a GREAT idea, nothing can possibly go wrong! We will have people all over the US wanting to buy our new cars!

    Guy 1 and Guy 2) HIGH FIVE!!! **slap**
  • by tomhudson (43916) < ... <nosduh.arabrab>> on Thursday October 15, 2009 @06:38PM (#29764213) Journal
    me@slashdot> slashdot --gamemode
    slashgame: YOUR ARE IN A ROOM
    slashgame: LOOK NORTH
    slashgame: YOU SEE AN ANONYMOUS COWARD
    slashgame: HE HAS A KAFKA-GRENADE
    slashgame: ANONYMOUS COWARD THROWS THE KAFKA-GRENADE AT YOU
    slashgame: CATCH KAFKA-GRENADE
    slashgame: YOU CATCH THE KAFKA-GRENADE
    slashgame: PULL PIN FROM KAFKA-GRENADE
    slashgame: THROW KAFKA-GRENADE AT ANONYMOUS COWARD
    slashgame: KAFKA-GRENADE EXPLODES ON ANONYMOUS COWARD
    slashgame: ANONYMOUS COWARD TURNS INTO ANONYMOUS COCKROACH
    slashgame: ANONYMOUS COCKROACH SCREAMS IN FEAR ABOUT RAID IN COMPUTER
    slashgame: MOTHER OF ANONYMOUS COCKROACH SCREAMS FROM OTHER SIDE OF BEDROOM DOOR "ARE YOU WATCHING GAY PORNO AGAIN?"
    slashgame: MOM ENTERS BASEMENT BEDROOM
    slashgame: MOM SEES ANONYMOUS COCKROACH
    slashgame: MOM REMOVES SHOE WITH SOLE OF MATERNAL INSTINCT
    slashgame: MOM INSTINCTIVELY CRUSHES ANONYMOUS COCKROACH WITH SOLE OF MATERNAL INSTINCT
    slashgame: ANONYMOUS COCKROACH DOES FINAL SWIRLY AROUND THE RIM AS MOM GIVE HIS REMAINS "BURIAL AT SEA"
    slashgame: ANONYMOUS COWARD -- 1784 KARMA, WILL RESPAWN A FLOATER IN TIDY-BOWL COMMERCIAL
    slashgame: YOU HAVE EARNED 1 BONUS SCROLL OF GUMMY-BEAR
    slashgame: EXIT
    me@slashdot >
  • Re:Yep (Score:3, Funny)

    by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @06:55PM (#29764369)

    Further to this, hopefully the arsehole marketer who came up with the idea loses a job

    Saatchi & Saatchi told the marketing magazine OMMA last year that it had developed the campaign to target men under 35 who hate advertising.

    Hey, thanks. So, Mr. Marketing Genius Man [not you, parent], why exactly is it that you think that there are people out there who hate advertising or marketers in general? Maybe because of stupid ideas like this?

  • Re:Yep (Score:5, Funny)

    by mypalmike (454265) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @07:08PM (#29764441) Homepage

    1. Well below average intelligence
    2. Unable to communicate in a coherent fashion(no ability to elaborate on a point except to repeat it verbatim but louder)
    3. Blissfully unaware of points 2. and 3.

    4. Create weird recursive lists when trying to explain the failure of other people to communicate coherently.

  • Re:Yep (Score:4, Funny)

    by omnichad (1198475) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @09:25PM (#29765241) Homepage

    Those who are blissfully unaware that the list is recursive are doomed to repeat it.

  • by beav007 (746004) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @10:16PM (#29765483) Journal
    You (as well as the GP) are passing in strings instead of boolean values. Now, who do I get to sue?
  • by bhsbulldozer (1519367) on Friday October 16, 2009 @01:45AM (#29766223)
    Shouldn't you save away the old value of _EVIL_RANT instead of blindly restoring it to false? What if you were interrupting someone else's equally inane evil rant? Think of the consequences! Think of the children!
  • by purpledinoz (573045) on Friday October 16, 2009 @03:37AM (#29766573)
    Her work performance was so bad, she lost $10M.
  • by MoreDruid (584251) <moredruid@gmail. c o m> on Friday October 16, 2009 @04:43AM (#29766817) Homepage Journal
    If she wins she'll probably buy a Lexus anyway...

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