FTC Requires Label for Sexually Explicit Spam

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Starting on May 19, unsolicited e-mail containing sexually explicit material must carry a label warning consumers of its content, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.


The e-mails must bear the label "SEXUALLY EXPLICIT" in the subject line or senders will be subject to fines, the FTC said. The FTC first proposed the rule in January as part of its effort to implement the CAN-SPAM Act.


Also under the rule, the body of the e-mail must begin with a prescribed mark or notice of sexually explicit content. No other images may be visible when a consumer first opens the e-mail.


The final rule that takes effect in May differs from the rule the FTC proposed originally. The required label in the subject line is shorter than originally proposed, and sexually oriented material in the subject line is banned.


In addition, the final rule requires the sender's postal address to be clearly disclosed and requires that the "explicit" label appear in standard ASCII characters.


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