Although there are a huge number of problems at the moment with spamming, many legitimate marketers are acting honourably, according to one industry expert.

AOL postmaster Charles Stiles has told marketing news website DM News that despite the problem of spam, internet marketers realise that it can be damaging to ignore requests for consumers to opt out of email campaigns.

Mr Stiles said that when AOL advises marketers of consumers who do not wish to receive messages "in almost every single circumstance" the response is "Absolutely, if they don’t want my mailing, I’ll take them off the list".

He added that this is due to the fact that mailers are well aware that pushing an online campaign on consumers can have a negative effect on the perception of the brand they are promoting.

"[They know] it doesn’t do them any good if somebody is not even going to pay attention and, in fact, has a bad taste in his mouth as a result," he concluded.

A recent study by Symantec found that around 69 per cent of email in August this year was spam.

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