'Shame on you Virgin – using a hokey-cokey spam marketing trick' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • canterswest
    Double standards because MSE is recruiting to use techniques on its website to 'meet the data needs of the wider company' -

    We’re looking for a Digital Executive to study behaviour on our sites, run MVT and AB testing and find creative ways to meet the data needs of the wider company.
    The role is focused on providing stakeholders with meaningful reports and actionable analysis, with a particular focus on the Deals category, which is currently going through an exciting phase of expansion and development. You’ll work with UX and analytics teams to identify personas, user journeys and key on site behaviour - and will be responsible for optimising the site accordingly.
    You will be working within a small analytics and search team and will liaise with key stakeholders across the company, so having great interpersonal skills is important.
    So if you’re a bit of a data geek and love really getting under the skin of online user behaviour, get in touch!
    Candidates must have:
    - Experience of AB and MVT testing.
    - Experience working with Google Analytics or similar.
    - Experience of creating reports and meaningful analysis.
    - A genuine love of data.
    - Excellent MS Excel skills, including formulae and pivot tables.
    - Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
    - An ability to work autonomously and to deadline.
    - Education to degree level in a numerate discipline or comparable on-the-job experience.
    - Must be a creative thinker.

    - A good understanding of digital marketing, especially search and affiliates.
    - Knowledge of Clicktale an advantage.
    - Knowledge of tag management systems (especially Google Tag Manager) an advantage.
    - Knowledge of the deals and vouchers industry an advantage.
    To apply, please email your CV, covering letter, salary expectation or any enquiries about the role to Tara Bradberry
  • jamesd
    jamesd Posts: 26,103 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Clicktale has a disable button available.

    Anyone interested in that may also be interested in the more widespread capability to opt out of behavioural advertising; you should turn off your ad blocker before visiting that site. Use a bit of care that site uses green ticks to indicate that the information is being used, the opposite of the likely meaning desired by those visiting it.
  • jamesd
    jamesd Posts: 26,103 Forumite
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    With the Virgin site the concern I haven isn't so much the changing check box meanings as the lack of any description of what "products and offers" means inline, leaving the impression that it is about the card you're applying for, not more generic marketing.
  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,272 Money Saving Expert
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 13 November 2014 at 9:25PM
    Double standards because MSE is recruiting to use techniques on its website to 'meet the data needs of the wider company' -

    I’m sorry but that is a complete farcee to equate the two and somewhat offensive. Virgin is deliberately using to confusion to manipulate more people to get their marketing emails.

    MSE doesn’t have marketing emails. We simply have a few services that we provide by email and each one is an individual, obvious opt in and always has been. The main ones are 1) The weekly email 2) Energy club trigger alerts 3) Emailed eligibility checker results 4) Specific codes people have requested.

    The advert you see is for a digital analyst. This is a very common job for a publishing website (which is ultimately what MSE is – we publish our campaigning journalism).

    This work allows us to see where people come in and where they leave, whether leaving is good or bad (ie because they went to do an activity we suggest, or because they just left) – whether our site navigation is working – how far people read our content – whether they are getting the most important messages in our content – and whether our new mobile site version is working and how best to do that.

    For years the big complaint about MSE has been navigation and ease of use. That’s exactly why we are now hiring our second data analyst to try and help improve things.

    While I accept the advert is somewhat clumsily written from a ‘what MSE does and stands for’ perspective. That’s just because the recruitment is done by people who don’t come with backgrounds which are as sensitive as us to making sure we explain to our users whats happening. So was written in standard commercial ways.

    Yet let me assure you this sites data stance has not changed a jot - something I am very proud of. Unless its for a service that is unavoidable (eg doing a soft search for eligibility checker) we don't ask who you are and don't require your details. People use the site anonymously.

    It is enshrined in the legally binding editorial code
    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/site/editorial-code. Especially these two points...

    • Any personal data about individual users, including contact details, (as opposed to aggregated or anonymised user behaviour data) gathered while operating MoneySavingExpert.com shall not be tracked or otherwise used by MoneySupermarket.com group (except for internal reporting, accounting or compliance purposes) without the express permission of the MoneySavingExpert.com's Editor-in-Chief and in accordance with the informed consent of the relevant user. (AND I HAVE NEVER BEEN ASKED FOR NOR GIVEN THAT PERMISSION). If MoneySavingExpert.com sends users directly to MoneySupermarket.com group's websites or the user visits MoneySupermarket.com group's websites independently, they shall be subject to MoneySupermarket.com's data protection policy.
    • Any personal data about individual users, including contact details, gathered while operating MoneySavingExpert.com shall not be sold to third parties or used for the purposes of communications from MoneySupermarket.com (including via email).
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • Sagz_2
    Sagz_2 Posts: 6,251 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    I find Virgin advertising verges on harassment.
    I get a "to the householder" A4 envelope delivered at least once a month, feels like more though. I've emailed and requested no further mailings but that had no effect so I've taken to scrawling "return to sender" on the envelopes and putting them back in the mail. Might work....... but I'm not holding my breath.
    Some days you're the dog..... most days you're the tree! :D
  • mjm3346
    mjm3346 Posts: 46,951 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    A nonsense non-story, if you cannot spot the difference in that you shouldn't be signing for a box of cornflakes never mind a financial product.
  • canterswest
    MSE_Martin wrote: »
    Virgin is deliberately using to confusion to manipulate more people to get their marketing emails.

    I think the same of MSE when I click through from editorial articles to what I am expecting to be free, public interest consumer journalism but I can't read the information as a big pop up appears, lit up, with the rest of the screen shaded out. I am invited to sign up to MSE's email. From memory, there are no clear instructions that this pop up can be ignored by clicking anywhere on the screen.

    Please could you report back A/B testing on the following:

    The effect of MSE's pop up asking to subscribe to email -

    on numbers accessing the free information that has attracted them to your website, and which is your main concern

    on numbers signing up to your email which are lost by removing the pop up

    Thank you
  • wiggers
    wiggers Posts: 83 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    I usually ignore those boxes, but when the first bit of spam arrives I just unsubscribe. A lot quicker than trying to work out the convoluted logic of these things.
    If your outgoings exceed your income, your upkeep will be your downfall.
    -- Moe Howard of The Three Stooges explaining economics to brother Curley
  • Sooler
    Sooler Posts: 3,108 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Currys Reserve and Collect ...

    • Please do not send me details of products and offers from Currys.co.uk
    • Please send me details of products and offers from third party organisations recommended by Currys.co.uk
This discussion has been closed.
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