Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Emily Clark Consulting - continuing to spam despite the company being struck off in April 2022

I've now received three once-daily spam emails to my Gmail account from Emily Clark Consulting. These include a range of job advert summaries which are all 'co-ordinator' roles which, curiously, is my own job title (so I'd be less surprised if these came to my work email account).

At the end is an unsubscribe option and a note saying that I "agreed to receive email notifications about new job ads from [them]" which I absolutely did not and am quite irritated by. Each job listing links to other companies' vacancies pages with a tracking link so I assume those companies are paying to have people spammed. I expect I'll receive another email later today.

1. Hovering over the job ads in the email displays these links, presumably a click results in a payment


Possibly the simplest option is to unsubscribe (and report to Gmail for spam) but I want to know how I came to be added in the first place... and I'm also on the warpath. 

They've almost certainly added me to their mailing list by scraping websites for email addresses so unsubscribing may not solve the problem if I'm later re-added after a subsequent re-scraping. What I need is to be on their suppression list. Though I'd prefer not to be on any of their records.

What others have said

The first thing I did was to see what others had to say about Emily Clark Consulting by searching on Google, and... it's not good. 

2. Oh dear. A search on Google for the company's name suggests spam as a related search.


Someone has created an entire WordPress website(1) to highlight the fact that the organisation spams people. Their TrustPilot record(2) is full of similar complaints (along with some praise for the company's consulting). I found three Tweets(3) referencing the company's spam and a blog post(4) highlighting the problem in some detail and actions taken by the blogger (including reporting the company to the ICO, which doesn't appear to have solved the problem yet).

According to what might be the company's Twitter page(5) they offer "Personalised jobs, sourced from every major job board, within the last 24hrs, delivered in one convenient email." The account was created in October 2021 and last tweeted one month later.


3. May or may not be the company's official Twitter page


Official records: Companies House and ICO

Their Companies House record(6) says that Emily Clark Consulting was "dissolved via compulsory strike-off". Dissolving a company is a fairly normal and generally benign thing, resulting in removal (strike-off) from the register, however a compulsory strike-off isn't and is something that is imposed on a company that has failed to satisfy its obligations. 

The company was registered on 16 November 2020 and as far as I can tell has never filed any paperwork (or it's inaccessible to me). I've clicked on all the clickable things on their Companies House record. I don't know enough (anything) about company law but it seems that a company can't trade once it's been removed from the register. That said, you don't actually need to have a company to charge people for sending out emails but it's odd if they're implying that their company is still a 'thing'.

In the footer of the company's website (powered by Wix(4)), next to the bit saying what the Companies House registration is there's also an ICO number. This apparently indicates that they have paid a fee to the Information Commssioner's Office in order to be permitted to process people's information(7a), which I certainly wasn't expecting. That registration expires on 19 November 2022(7b).

I've emailed the company asking why I've been added without permission. I'm certainly not averse to hearing about jobs that I can share with other people but Emily Clark Consulting is going about things in entirely the wrong way.

There are two correct ways to get people on a mailing list
1. Provide a sign-up form for them to submit their details (Emily Clark Consulting does have such a form but I'd never visited their website before so very certain I'd never signed up). Ideally there should be a confirmation email sent to the submitted email address to check (in case someone types in wrong address by mistake). Once the person clicks a confirmation link they're on the list to receive emails.

2. Email relevant people and invite them to sign up, assuring them that if they do nothing they will not be added to anything.

The wrong way is to scrape the web for email addresses, add them and tell the person that they signed themselves up. Grr.

Incidentally I run three job-related websites myself (scicommjobs for science communication jobs, tscicom for scientific comms jobs and techdevjobs for jobs in IT) as well as running psci-com, a mailing list for science communicators (which also carries free job ads). While I might eventually charge for posting job ads on tscicom I'm certainly not planning on spamming anyone.



(1) Emily Clark Consulting Reviews: Spamming your way to success - this is a site created solely to highlight the company's spamming emails, it's not the company's website (though the link could be misread as being that way!).

(2) Emily Clark Consulting - TrustPilot Reviews - currently (as of 20 June 2022) 56% excellent and 42% bad. Additional 'information written by the company' on that page implies that "We only contact people who have registered or applied for one of our advertised jobs. Any request to unsubscribe or delete is actioned within 24hrs, but usually immediately, or you can easily unsubscribe via the button (that is clearly marked) at the bottom of the email." - I emailed them about this on Saturday so am not really expecting them to stop emailing me before Tuesday 21st June 2022. But they shouldn't have added me in the first place, hence this critical post.

(3) The three tweets

(4) Spammers: Emily Clark Consulting - Keith Greer's blog - Keith has contacted the ICO, Wix (the company hosting their website) and at least one of the companies mentioned in the spam emails. Sadly this doesn't seem to have stopped Emily Clark Consulting from spamming people by email though.

I'm assuming Keith used Ctrl+U when on the web page to bring up the sourcecode, which tells you that a Wix site was used.

(5) EmilyClarkCons - not a commentary but the handle for what seems to be Emily Clark Consulting's Twitter page, which last tweeted in 2021.

(6) Emily Clark Consulting Limited - Companies House
Company No: 13023378 - The company was incorporated in November 2020 and booted from the register in April 2022. Normally I'd expect to find some accounts or other information in the Filing tab but it's very sparse.

(7a) ICO Register of Fee Payers - includes information about what's involved and the searchable register.

(7b) ICO Data protection register - entry -
details for Emily Clark Consulting whose registration expires November 2022.


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Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).