Actually, I find the amazon Unsolicited Commercial Email to be quite revealing. This is because in late 1997, *everyone* knows that Spam Is Bad. The only kind of companies I've ever gotten spam from were companies with their backs up against the wall (Apple and Amazon).
Conclusion: Amazon is in trouble, because they're desperate. How do I know Amazon is desperate? They are resorting to a form of marketing which they *know* many people detest.