Social media

I kid you not: Shutterfly tells hundreds of customers they had a baby

May 14, 2014 at 6:00 PM ET

Shutterfly
Markiewicz, Hilary (206426093) / Shutterfly

A congratulatory email from Shutterfly might have been apropos for any of the women profiled on Discovery Health/TLC series "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," but it came as quite a surprise to customers of the photo-printing service who for sure aren’t new moms-to-be.

"There's nothing more amazing than bringing a new life into the world," read the targeted email inadvertently CC'd to many who weren't even expecting. "As a new parent you're going to find more to love, more to give and more to share — we're here to help you every step of the way." 

By "every step of the way," does Shutterfly mean changing especially stinky diapers, getting up in the middle of the night or scraping spit-up out of your hair ... if, say, you actually did have a baby? Likely, this cheerfully offered helping hand is limited to reminding new parents, "It's time to send thank you cards," after, of course, you buy them from its site? Alas, we remain as flummoxed as the surprised women in the TLC documentary series. 

When reached for comment, Shutterfly shared only the following statement with TODAY:

Earlier this morning, we unintentionally sent an e-mail to some of our customers. We deeply apologize for this intrusion and any offense this may have caused. Our intention was to email customers who have recently purchased birth announcements with us, and it was sent to a larger distribution in error.

Well, it's certainly not the creepiest mishap to happen via targeted marketing. Take, for example, the Minneapolis man who learned his daughter was pregnant after Target mailed advertisements for maternity clothing and the like to his home. Information collected on the daughter's in-store purchases diagnosed her very true pregnancy. 

In the case of Shutterfly, the false negatives flagged by Wednesday's baby email proved an opportunity for Twitter hilarity. Here are a few of our favorites:

Helen A.S. Popkin is Deputy Tech & Science editor for TODAY/NBC News. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter


TOP