It's not really an under-the-radar hard sell. Here's the page in question, which nobody in this thread can be arsed to look at: http://cl.ly/image/2V302C3j290B
Now, I can see how one might miss the fact that this will send an email.
Things you can say if you're being intellectually honest:
* The fact that this will send an email should be more prominent
* The content of the email should be more explicit
* The tone of the email was overly personal
* The from: field appears as if it's from the person, not FD
Things you can't say if you're being intellectually honest:
* The form is opt-out
* There's no copy on the page indicating an email will be sent
* The copy on the page is hidden below the fold
* The copy on the page is worded designed to mislead the user
* The fact that clicking submit will send an email is obscured
* There is no indication about the content or tone of the email that will be sent
Looking at this page, the most aggressive case I can make is for a slightly confusing design that should better highlight the consequences of choosing vouchers. It doesn't seem in any way misleading and doesn't show any of the fingerprints of someone looking to trick a user into accidentally emailing their friends.
So, being honest (intellectually or not), here's what I can say :
The tone and wording used in the auto-generated email shocked me. I would be pissed if that had been sent to anyone I know.
Saying that the content of the email "should be more explicit" is an understatement of significant magnitude, and it glosses over the crux of the issue. The site clearly betrayed the OP's trust, and had I been in his shoes I would have felt the same way.
My comment was made prior to your edit which added mention of the "tone" and the "from: field".
I have also up-voted your comment, although I strongly disagree with the conclusion.
Fair enough. Before people jump on the "omg spam" train they should take it upon themselves as thinking individuals to look at the primary source.
I just created a fake LinkedIn account and will post a similar (and honest) analysis after I receive the invite.
The fact that nobody in this thread bothered to do their due diligence before pouncing is enough for me to discount their opinions as uninformed. But we'll see what the actual page looks like in a sec.