Hallmark visitors get rude surprise

Visitors looking for Hallmark cards' website would have received something of a surprise last week: a page of free pornography.

Visitors looking for Hallmark cards' website would have received something of a surprise last week: a page of free pornography.

The hallmark.co.nz website is owned by Hallmark Distributors and registered to Dan Holloway, who plans to use it for his unified message software business. However, a page containing photos and several downloadable MPG files was last week visible to those who knew the correct URL extension.

"You certainly couldn't have got to it from the front page. You'd have to type in the URL yourself," says Holloway, who is quick to point out he doesn't run a porn site or condone such activities.

Holloway says he has "no idea" what the porn material was doing there. "I authorised it for one day a long time ago and they [his staff] assured me it was taken down immediately. It was a bit of a joke for someone...." He believes network reconfiguration and his reverting to an earlier version of his set-up has meant the site was, temporarily, re-activated.

"I would like to apologise to whoever found it. It really wasn't something I'd want people to stumble across."

Hallmark Cards New Zealand IT manager Brian Joynt says the company had received several calls from customers complaining about the site and the objectionable material.

He says Hallmark Cards has been in discussions with Hallmark Distributors over the possible sale of the URL, something Holloway believes is worth around $7500.

The URL for Hallmark Cards is www.hallmark.com.

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