For the recipients it was like finding Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket – but in reverse. Music fans expressed their outrage after being sent a “nationwide” spam email from James Blunt urging them to listen to his new single.
Twitter was swamped with complaints from Blunt-haters who received an unsolicited message from the "You’re Beautiful" singer in their inbox, titled “I’d like you to be the first to hear my new single.”
Addressed impersonally to “dear friend”, the email contained a link to the song "Bonfire Heart" and Blunt’s declaration that it was a ditty “about love, life, fear and hope…and more than anything, you…and me…”
Mikey Guitar posted a warning Tweet: “If you receive an email with a link to the new James Blunt single, don't click on it. It's a link to the new James Blunt single!”
Another Tweeter wrote: “Let me see if I've got this right. If we want porn we have to opt IN, but if we don't want James Blunt we have to opt OUT?” “Ok, which James Blunt signed me up for this?,” asked another.
Blunt’s spam attack targeted fellow singers including the Scottish musician Nina Nesbitt who did not appear too impressed. “Great marketing from James Blunt’s team I must say. Email the whole of the UK!,” she tweeted.
Some asked if their personal details had been bought up for a marketing operation by Warner Music, Blunt’s record company.
Blunt himself apologised for the inconvenience. “Oops... Just emailed the whole of the UK by mistake! Ha,” he Tweeted.
Warner Music said that due to a “clerical error, the email was accidentally serviced to some users who had subscribed to mailing lists for other Warner Music artists.”
With Blunt trending as a result of the marketing tactic, some Tweeters asked if they were the only people in the UK not to have received an email.
Others reluctantly accepted the email’s contents which confirmed that reports of the tremulous former soldier’s musical retirement were premature.