Junk e-mail solicitations -- called "spam" -- aren't just the bane of Internet users; they're also the target of criticism from Internet marketing professionals. According to Jason Catlett, president of the recently organized Internet Direct Marketing Bureau (IDMB), spammers assume that junk e-mail solicitation is a low-cost advertising medium. In fact, junk e-mail usually generates "trash prospects" who can easily impose heavy costs on the spammer by responding favorably and asking for additional product information by mail or phone. The IDMB was established to serve as a "junkbuster" to the Internet community, educating Web marketers on the ineffectiveness of "spam marketing." Internet marketers using spam to sell their products typically don't have a brand name to protect because, more often than not, their e-mailings simply serve to annoy recipients, according to Catlett.
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