Friday, August 26, 2005

Targeting Bloggers: Who is Citadel Consulting Group LLC?

Who is Citadel Consulting Group LLC and what are they up to and why are they targeting bloggers?

I nominally maintain my own blog via Blogger. I don’t advertise and use it mainly for composing diaries I post at Daily Kos and My Left Wing and for my personal blog roll. I have a public email at blogs where I post comments and diaries, but I had not made this public in my profile at Blogger until yesterday. I received an email from Citadel Consulting Group LLC shortly thereafter.

The email came with the subject, "Dr. Strange does not write for us" and starts with:

Dear Blogger:

We would like to invite you to a free one-year subscription to the West Coast Midnight Run™, a magazine designed for the discerning individual, covering topics ranging from the latest in political commentary, social editorials, comparative critiques on the human condition in the only "superpower" nation on the planet, movie reviews, tips for singles, international cuisine, what's hot in the world of office products and consumer electronics, popular opinion surveys, eye-popping business practices, healthcare pointers, alternative viewpoints and of course exotic feats of automotive engineering.

I was more than a little surprised to suddenly receive my first unsolicited marketing email at my blog email address. This email was also sent in a manner to bypass spam filters. I became immediately suspicious reading the rest of the email when I saw the request for name, address and regular email. Now, I normally ignore and delete unsolicited spam received via email, but as this was the first I received via my blog address and was being targeted to bloggers I decided to investigate further. Unfortunately, I have been unable to turn up much information and I am posting this seeking further information, to discuss this with anyone else that has received this email and to find out if anyone besides members of Blogger have received it.

I started by visiting the website of Citadel Consulting Group, but found information there sorely lacking so I followed it with a Google search. Once again there was not much to be found. However, I found a posting by another blogger, Blast Radius, who was also “Following the tracks” regarding this email. I posted what I was thought and was able to discover:

I received one as well. I'm sure they have data mined all blogspot accounts that have a public email listed. Citadel Consulting Group LLC may be a legitimate company, but if it is legit, it is a marketing consulting firm. Citadel appears to have some connections with US government contracting at least according to cached web pages. Cached from, Citadel is listed as a vendor, part of, founded in 2003 and has 1-5 employees.

Many people blog anonymously. I'm pretty sure this is an attempt to get private data such as name, address and valid email associated with a blogger. I can only speculate that the purpose might be to sell this information to advertisers.

I don’t know if there are any issues here or any hidden agenda other than a company attempting some new marketing scheme. I hope starting a discussion about it here can fill in information about Citadel Consulting Group and help people avoid giving away personal data to a marketing consultant group.

What do you think?

The remaining content of the email follows:

Our magazine will take a critical look at the current situation in the USA. We will tackle issues in a cynical, humorous and lyrical fashion, including living standards, the social and political situation in our country, including among others, the disappearance of quality jobs, the declining standards of living for the Middle Class, the loss of security and the gradual diminishment of our privacy, elderly issues, our healthcare systems and the apparent absence of a non-discriminatory social safety net. We will compare our lot to those in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Suffice it to say you will not find a more refreshing and entertaining reading experience anywhere on the planet.

Please visit our website for more details and use the promotional code I-820051-01-YWPVL1 when signing up.

You will need to register at by sending us your name, address, regular email and a request for your complimentary one-year free subscription.

For those of you consummate writers, if you are interested in contributing a piece as the original author, we will give you full credit including a brief bio paragraph. Please contact us at for more information.

Those of you who are naturals at promoting and would be interested in helping us locate small business sponsors please contact our Marketing Department at for further details on our commissions program.

This summer just got a bit hotter. Do not dare miss out on the fun. Ask for your free subscription today!!!

Warm Regards,

The Editorial Staff at the West Coast Midnight Run



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