CAN-SPAM rules by FTC


On Monday, May 12  the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued  supplementary CAN-SPAM rules, which will take effect June 26 of this  year. If you send email to recipients in the United States we  encourage you to seek the advice of your legal counsel regarding the  impact of these new rules on your email programs. A summary of the  most impactful of the new rules is provided below for discussion




 Mandated Simplification of Opt-out Processes: The new rules clarify  the opt-out required under CAN-SPAM:

       The opt-out may not be conditioned on the payment of any fee.

       The recipient must not be required to input anything more than

       email address and associated opt-out preferences for that email

       address (i.e., no password, account number, name, etc. can be


       The opt-out mechanism must rely on either a reply email or a

       visit to a single Internet Web page and nothing more (i.e.,

       multiple Web page opt-out processes are no longer allowed).



 We encourage you to examine your opt-out process to determine if it is  in compliance with this new rule. If your opt-out processes are  managed by our Consulting & Integration Services department we will  contact you proactively in the coming weeks to discuss any changes  necessitated by these new rules.


 P.O. Box Usage Confirmed: Businesses may publish a sender’s P.O. box  or private mailbox in a commercial email message to comply with the  valid physical postal address requirement.


 Designated Sender Rule Established: This new rule provides a framework  whereby multiple advertisers that appear in the same commercial email  message, each of which normally would satisfy the Act’s definition of  “sender,” may designate a single sender among them as the sole sender  of the message. If you routinely engage in list rentals or joint  promotions, you will want to examine this provision closely.


 Rules Regarding Incented Forwarding: The new rules confirm that if a  company offers something of value (e.g., sweepstakes entry or

 discount) to incent a user to forward a commercial message to a  friend, the company providing the incentive is held responsible for  complying with CAN-SPAM as a Sender of the resulting message. Note  that the Marketer “Forward to a Friend” feature has had opt-out  scrubbing capabilities built in for just this purpose since 2004.


 Also note that the FTC was widely expected to collapse the amount of  time senders have to comply with opt-out from 10 business days to  three business days, but no change was issued. The 10 business day  opt-out rule remains in effect.


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