Big Brother is apparently back with a vengeance, settling in at the corporate headquarters of Verizon.
That’s how New York PR Counselor Ted Faraone sees it. Faraone tells me Verizon is blocking his press releases as “spam” without any rhyme or reason. Such a move threatens the viability of PR.
Ted was rightly proud to promote the work of ad agency Forza Migliozzi on behalf of the Catholic Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre (Nassau and Suffolk counties) to promote the Sacrament of Penance during Holy Week. The “Soul Wow” campaign had Catholics jamming confessionals from Brooklyn to Montauk, fessing up sins to clean the slate of their souls.
Ted counts $7.4M worth of publicity from a less than $40K ad investment. He humbly likened the success as one that “recalls the New Testament miracle of the loaves and fish.” Ted does have a way with words.
Faraone was completely baffled when his emails about “Good News II,” carrying the subject headline “Confessional ad campaign scores for Catholic Church” bounced back with the note “the message you attempted to send was determined to be spam.”
After spending most of Monday trying to get to the bottom of the mess, Faraone was promised his account would be “whitelisted” within 24 hours. It didn't happened. The last person Faraone spoke with was “Carla” in Verizon’s “advanced tech support, presidential appeals unit.”
He has no clue why his emails were tagged as spam.
Faraone yesterday fired off a certified letter to Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, complaining about Verizon’s “blocking my outgoing press releases on its email service.” Verizon “continues to block my outgoing communication with journalists even on an individual one-to-one basis,” wrote Farone. “It is the business of PR agencies to communicate with members of the press. By blocking such legitimate, lawful communications, Verizon is effectively putting a customer out of business.”
Faraone has copied New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and the Federal Communications Commission.
The PR pro speculates that a chilling new type of monitoring system or sending the same email to multiple people may have been why his press releases were lassoed by a “tightened anti-spam policy.”
Ted, however, notes he is inundated daily with offers for Cialis erectile dysfunction pills or financial scams from Nigeria.
He promises to keep us informed about his troubles with Verizon.