Automated marketing at its best

Most of the time, I quite like amazon.co.uk. They have the stuff I want, often at very good prices, and delivery is either free and pretty quick or not very expensive and very quick.

As I’m a well-established customer, who has given them lots of money over the years, they like to send me the occasional email drawing my attention to something their computers think I might like. It might be a new book by an author I’ve “expressed an interest in”, or a CD or DVD in similar vein to previous purchases, or occasionally, it’s something only possible with artificial intelligence stupidity.

Like anyone else, Amazon are aware that I’m a fan of the work of the late Douglas Adams. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy[1] is an all-time favourite. So they sent me a message today, which began:

As someone who has expressed interest in books by Douglas Adams, you might like to know that Health Monitoring of Structural Materials and Components: Methods with Applications is now available. You can order your copy for just £66.50 by following the link below

Errrr?? :???: Is this some previously unknown work by the Great Man? Or is it a bit of a boo-boo? A look at the book reveals that while the page shows it to be written by “Douglas Adams”, the picture on the cover suggests that it’s by Douglas E Adams. Naturally, clicking the author’s name link takes you to a list of books by the Douglas Adams that I am interested in.[2]

I’ve filled in the relevant form thingy to get them to change it. They might, one day….

But in the meantime, it does give me an ideal opportunity to slightly adjust the words of the man himself.

That’s not the Douglas Adams, it’s just a Douglas Adams. Didn’t you know they came in six packs?

[1] All five books in the trilogy
[2] That’s Douglas N Adams if there’s any confusion