Through the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act of 2003, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) covers all commercial email 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." Although the FTC has been granted primary responsibility for enforcing CAN-SPAM violations, the law also grants authority to the Department of Justice (in cases where the FTC may not have jurisdiction over a particular industry) and state AGs to enforce the CAN-SPAM requirements.

Some requirements impacting commercial email include:

  • Prohibiting the use of false or misleading headers
  • Prohibiting the use of deceptive subject lines
  • Identifying the message as an advertisement
  • Including a valid company physical postal address
  • Allowing consumers to opt out of receiving future emails
  • Honoring consumers' opt-out requests within ten business days
  • Ensuring the opt-out link remains active for at least 30 days

Potential Risks
Each commercial email in violation of CAN-SPAM is subject to penalties of up to $40,000, and more than one entity may be held responsible for violations. Emails making false or misleading claims may be subject to laws outlining deceptive advertising. Furthermore, the law provides for criminal penalties, including imprisonment. However, it's important to keep in mind the possibility of PR damage to your organization. The effects of negative publicity can be worse for a company long-term than the fine.

How We Can Help
Our qualified experts understand the impact the CAN-SPAM requirements can have on your operations and will work with you to achieve compliance while facilitating your marketing and sales goals.

Failure to comply with relevant legislation can have a significant impact on your business. Don’t take chances - let our experts help! CompliancePoint has a variety of services that companies can leverage to meet their Email & CAN-SPAM Compliance goals.

Does your company use email to communicate with your prospective and current customers? If so, are your emails in compliance with the CAN-SPAM requirements?