What if you were told that if you agreed to "test" a Dell XPS laptop you could keep it, for free?
Would you expect the offer to be from Dell Computer?
After all, who else but the manufacturer would care to give a computer away for simply having you test it?
Would you at least expect the offer to be affiliated with, or authorized, or approved by Dell Computer?
What if the unsolicited email offer avoided your spam filter and looked something like this?
Would you click on the "CLICK HERE" icon as instructed, or would you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to see if you might be able to learn more before clicking?
If you had followed the instructions to CLICK HERE, before scrolling down to the bottom of your screen, you would have missed this purported disclaimer:
The advertisers in this email are not affiliated with any of the above brands.
This is a third party advertisement sent to you by the list owner. If you no longer wish to receive email from this list owner, please write 101-1001 W. Broadway Suite 765 Vancouver BC 76H-E4E or visit our email removal site by click here.
If you do not wish to receive correspondence from the list manager you will need to follow the unsubscribe instructions provide by the list manager on how to remove you from their list.
What do you think, is the disclaimer valid and effective in avoiding a likelihood of confusion?
What about initial interest confusion?
Does the above email advertisement constitute fair use of the Dell and Intel trademarks and logos?
We have blogged before about spam email solicitations that attempt disclaimers and make liberal use of the trademarks and logos of others like Google, here.
Do you see this one any differently than the Google Fortune spam ads?