Hormel's official position on the term 'spam'

RE: SPAM: SPAM and the Internet:

You've probably seen, heard or even used the term 'spamming' to refer to the act of sending unsolicited commercial email (UCE), or 'spam' to refer to the UCE itself. Following is our position on the relationship between UCE and our trademark SPAM.

Use of the term 'spam' was adopted as a result of the Monty Python skit in which our SPAM meat product was featured. In this skit, a group of Vikings sang a chorus of 'spam, spam, spam . . . ' in an increasing crescendo, drowning out other conversation. Hence, the analogy applied because UCE was drowning out normal discourse on the Internet.

We do not object to use of this slang term to describe UCE, although we do object to the use of the word 'spam' as a trademark and to the use of our product image in association with that term. Also, if the term is to be used, it should be used in all lower-case letters to distinguish it from our trademark SPAM, which should be used with all uppercase letters.

So be careful before you photoshop up a picture of SPAM to go with your article on spam.