On Magento 1.9, in /app/code/core/Mage/Newsletter/controllers/SubscriberController.php there's newAction() function that returns success or error messages.

The success message for example uses Mage::getSingleton('core/session'); which is an admin message and on the front end it doesn't get any styling.

I would think it should be using Mage::getSingleton('customer/session'); so that customers see the regular success or error messages.

Why was this assigned to core/session?

public function newAction()
    if ($this->getRequest()->isPost() && $this->getRequest()->getPost('email')) {
        $session            = Mage::getSingleton('core/session');
        $customerSession    = Mage::getSingleton('customer/session');
        $email              = (string) $this->getRequest()->getPost('email');

        try {
            if (!Zend_Validate::is($email, 'EmailAddress')) {
                Mage::throwException($this->__('Please enter a valid email address.'));

            if (Mage::getStoreConfig(Mage_Newsletter_Model_Subscriber::XML_PATH_ALLOW_GUEST_SUBSCRIBE_FLAG) != 1 && 
                !$customerSession->isLoggedIn()) {
                Mage::throwException($this->__('Sorry, but administrator denied subscription for guests. Please <a href="%s">register</a>.', Mage::helper('customer')->getRegisterUrl()));

            $ownerId = Mage::getModel('customer/customer')
            if ($ownerId !== null && $ownerId != $customerSession->getId()) {
                Mage::throwException($this->__('This email address is already assigned to another user.'));

            $status = Mage::getModel('newsletter/subscriber')->subscribe($email);
            if ($status == Mage_Newsletter_Model_Subscriber::STATUS_NOT_ACTIVE) {
                $session->addSuccess($this->__('Confirmation request has been sent.'));
            else {
                $session->addSuccess($this->__('Thank you for your subscription.'));
        catch (Mage_Core_Exception $e) {
            $session->addException($e, $this->__('There was a problem with the subscription: %s', $e->getMessage()));
        catch (Exception $e) {
            $session->addException($e, $this->__('There was a problem with the subscription.'));

core/session messages will be displayed on pages rendered by any controller, while customer/session messages are only displayed on pages associated to the Mage_Customer module.

  • Thanks @Vinai! I had this wrong but it turns out that my issue was with turpentine overwriting these messages, on to the next hunt... – Haim Mar 15 '18 at 20:01
  • Same issue here, had to disable my Turpentine extension (was not used for this project anyway) to get the core/session messages to display properly. – Louis B. Mar 26 '19 at 14:01

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