A headline I’d like to see

Spammers throwing in the towel
Pill purveyors can't push products anymore

Disassociated Press, updated 2 hours ago.

Several of the world's most notorious spammers said Thursday that they planned to cut the amount of spam they send because of the current recession, in a move that underscores the difficulty even some of the most lucrative, if not loathed, operations are are having in dealing with these hard economic times.

From undisclosed locations mostly in the United States and eastern Europe, the high-volume email deployers, nicknamed the Spam Cartel, announced the spam cutbacks Thursday as they released lower-than-expected quarterly earnings.  In a highly unusual step, the Cartel also said conditions were so uncertain that they could not accurately forecast their earnings to cover the costs of their spamming operations.

Spam Cartel spokesman Victor Agra could only say that he didn’t expect conditions to improve soon for the Cartel or for the economy.

“We’re certainly in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime set of economic conditions,” Agra said in a conference call with analysts, journalists and spam fighters. “The economy is resetting to a lower level of consumer spending.  People just don't see the value of free degrees, cheap enlargement pills.  And nobody wants to buy any stocks these days as everyone is racing to pull their money out of the market.”

Agra said the Cartel planned to cut out the majority of their spam operations over the next 18 months, including all pump-and-dump stock spam immediately. Those cuts effective Thursday will reduce the global spam volume by 5%.  "The cost model doesn't make sense; we have to rent out botnets to send this stuff and if no one buys it, we lose money," Agra continued.  "We need to have some products in the warehouse, too.  If we can't move product, then why bother advertising it?"

The mass spam cuts announced Thursday are highly unusual for the Spam Cartel. The marketers of cheap software, cheap cigarettes, free iPods and whiter teeth, has tended to hold up well even when the economy is weak and has only had a smattering of small reductions, usually because of shifts in consumer taste.

“It’s certainly a historical move,” longtime spam fighter Terry Zink said.  “Spamming is an operation that has historically been able to weather most financial events fairly well,” he said. "But I suppose it's only fitting that after years of fighting them with the newest technology, it's simple economics that does them in."

Although Spam Cartel spokesman Agra cautioned that he did not see a quick turnaround in the economy, he sought to paint an optimistic picture, for him, of the long-term future for spamming.

“I don’t think there’s any stopping the forward march of our industry, and in the long run let’s call it the pause that the economy is imposing on our industry will just be that,” he said in the conference call.

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