How not to be anonymous

Here’s my laugh of the day.

I get all the catch-all email that comes off the C3 site (info@). We get quite a few requests to participate in market research studies related to oncology. Most of the time, they don’t want to reveal the name of the company funding the study or what they’re going to do with the information they collect. They dangle an honorarium as incentive (in the range of $200 or so). We decline. We don’t participate in these things as fundraisers, and we don’t do things that benefit industry without being clear on how it will ultimately benefit patients.

Here’s an excerpt from an actual email I received this morning:

Interviews will be conducted by phone and will last approximately 20 minutes. Interviews will be audio taped to accurately capture your answers, but your participation and your answers will remain completely confidential. To avoid unintentionally influencing feedback from those interviewed as part of this project, we are keeping the name of the organization for which we are conducting this research — as well as the name of our company — anonymous.

He signed the email with just his name and phone number.

Keeping the name of your company anonymous, huh? Some tips:

  1. If you want to stay anonymous, then it’s probably not a good idea to send from an email address that’s when loads in a web browser as a communications/marketing firm with a “track record of proven success in the launch and marketing of Rx to OTC products, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and supplements.”
  2. If you want to stay anonymous, then one should not be able to easily Google the phone number in the email and see from the results that the number is the main phone number for the above

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