It seems that ‘Mr Pearson from the Ivory Coast’ is about step up his email assaults, suggests a report from iMedia.

Email marketers expect to face challenges first and foremost with ‘increased spam and phishing attacks’ in 2009 says the report, pointing to a recent survey by international research company, JupiterResearch.

Although the state of the economy is dwindling, just 40% cited ‘slowing consumer spending’ as a concern, while only 16% were concerned about finding adequate budget for their programs.

It would appear that email marketers are more preoccupied about the challenges of communicating with customers on a reliable front.

“As a highly cost-effective and targeted means of communicating with customers, email is increasingly seen as the marketing departments work-horse. But marketers also understand that in order to be effective, their emails must be reliably trusted, delivered, and viewable to recipients,” says Peter Horan, CEO of Goodmail, which sponsored the survey.

Just over half of the people surveyed agreed that spam and phishing were their principal problem, followed closely by concerns about further email and image blocking by ISPs.