Consumers Balance on Verge of ‘Offer Anarchy’

Countless circulars and credit-card pitches stuff mailboxes. An unrelenting amount of emails—from daily deals to sales announcements to of-the-month clubs—clog inboxes. Text messages look like spam. Social media feeds swell with offers. The phone constantly rings with cold calls from telemarketers. Even as databases become more sophisticated and direct more targeted, many companies cling to a nasty habit of blasting unwanted messages to consumers. They call it marketing. Consumers call it annoying.

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