We’ve all been there.
A quickly-typed email gets sent a little too soon, an attachment is missing, there are misspellings. It likely happens millions of times a day around the world.
Accidentally sending a picture of a cat in Cookie Monster pajamas, however, is quite a unique brand of spam. Coincidentally, it’s the same brand the U.S. embassy in Canberra, Australia, was forced to offer an apology for after emailing a costume-clad cat to everyone on its Department of State list.
Titled, “meeting,” the missive showed an image of a tabby dressed up as Cookie Monster, holding a plate of chocolate chip cookies. Above the image, another bold headline: “Cat Pyjama-Jam.”
It’s unknown how many people the email was sent to, or how many actually opened it, but an email-open rate of over 40 percent would indicate some very engaging content. Within this particular email, there was both a snippet of placeholder text in Latin and a non-working RSVP button.
Safe to say, this wasn’t the message they intended to send out.
“Sorry to disappoint those of you who were hoping to attend this ‘cat pyjama-jam’ party, but such an event falls well outside our area of expertise,” US Mission to Australia public affairs counsellor Gavin Sundwall wrote in a follow-up email two days after the cookie cat was sent out. “It was a training error made by one of our new staff testing out our email newsletter platform.”
The embassy is putting new protocols in place to make sure this error never happens again. Mailer daemons aside, Sundwall said they would implement “strong new management controls” to prevent future mishap.
Otherwise, recipients can just unsubscribe.
Learn more in the video below.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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