FCC – Fax Advertising Rules & Regulations
Read more here: www.fcc.gov/guides/fax-advertising
The rules provide that it is unlawful to send unsolicited advertisements to any
fax machine, including those at both businesses and residences, without the recipients
prior express invitation or permission. Fax advertisements, however, may be sent
to recipients with whom the sender has an EBR, as long as the fax number was provided
voluntarily by the recipient. Specifically, a fax advertisement may be sent to an
EBR customer if the sender also:
- Obtains the fax number directly from the recipient, through, for example, an application,
contact information form or membership renewal form;
- Obtains the fax number from the recipients own directory, advertisement, or site
on the Internet, unless the recipient has noted on such materials that it does not
accept unsolicited advertisements at the fax number in question;
- Has taken reasonable steps to verify that the recipient consented to have the number
listed, if obtained from a directory or other source of information compiled by
a third party.
If the sender had an EBR with the recipient and possessed the recipients fax number
before July 9, 2005 (the date the Junk Fax Prevention Act became law), the sender
may send the fax advertisements without demonstrating how the number was obtained.
FTC – CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business
Read more here: business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business
Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email. It covers all
commercial messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary
purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product
or service,” including email that promotes content on commercial websites. The law
makes no exception for business-to-business email. That means all email – for example,
a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the
Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of
up to $16,000, so non-compliance can be costly. But following the law isn’t complicated.
Here’s a rundown of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements:
- Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,”
and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address
– must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
- Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the
content of the message.
- Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this,
but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
- Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical
postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve
registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered
with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
- Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message
must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out
of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for
an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size,
color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another
easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You
may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages,
but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure
your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
- Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to
process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must
honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a
fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond
an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply
email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring
an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages
from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of
a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company
you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
- Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you
hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your
legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted
in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally
Regulations range from prohibiting certain types of calls (or callers) to mandating
information and functions that must be provided by the call, such as immediately
identifying the caller and the call’s purpose, and making an opt-out feature available.
There are other requirements as well.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
are the primary federal regulators although various industry verticals are regulated
by other agencies. State regulations are often handled by public utility commissions
and/or the state Attorney General under their consumer protection mandates.
FCC – Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991
Read more here: hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-153A1.pdf