Image Marketing Group, a company operated by “Spam King” Brendan Battles and accused by Yellow of having illegally obtained a database from the directories organisation, could be in further legal hot water after apparently initiating a spam campaign yesterday. Games and web developer Justin Cook forwarded the spam to Computerworld, in which Image Marketing Group is hawking databases with details of New Zealand businesses at half price, at $1,500 and $2,500 each. Yellow communications manager Mandy Thorburn says her company became aware of the campaign after spam hit the inbox of Yellow CEO Bruce Cotterill. Thorburn says the campaign yesterday and today means Image Marketing Group has breached a temporary High Court injunction. Yesterday, Yellow obtained a temporary High Court injunction, preventing Image Marketing Group from selling the database. Yellow says it discovered that Image Marketing Group had obtained its database in November this year and says it takes the purloining of information very seriously. Image Marketing Group didn’t defend itself at the High Court hearing yesterday, stating lack of funds to hire a lawyer. The injunction was granted ahead of a full trial in six months’ time. Battles is no stranger to controversy, having been described by investigative journalist Brian McWilliams as a “Spam King” who sent out up to 50 million messages a day. After arriving in New Zealand from the United States four years ago, Battles started spamming here too, attempting to sell broadband plans for his then employer, Compass Communications. Currently, Battles and companies associated with him are being investigated by the Department of Internal Affairs for sending text message spam. Image Marketing Group referred Computerworld's enquiries to Battles' mobile phone. He did not immediately answer or respond to a message.
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