SPAM®, spam or flappertanknibble: What’s in a name?

The first ever can of SPAM® was produced in 1937 by Hormel Foods in Austin, Minnesota, and they’re still going strong.

Hormel’s latest set of financial results, show that SPAM® continues to sell well seventy years later, and for most of that time they didn’t have to spend any effort making clear they weren’t connected with unsolicited junk email.

It’s important to make the distinction between spam and SPAM®. That’s one of the reasons why you’ll always find we never write “spam” in capitals when we’re talking about unsolicited commercial email. Another reason is that we’d hate companies to think we were somehow protecting their email gateways from canned precooked meat.

I think the people who probably suffer most from this naming confusion are the marketing guys at Hormel. They must spend so much time googling the web, trying to find out what…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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