FTC Proposes 'Primary-Purpose' E-Mail Definitions

Share this article:
The Federal Trade Commission proposed criteria yesterday for defining what qualifies as commercial e-mail under the CAN-SPAM Act.


The act has numerous regulations for e-mail whose "primary purpose" is commercial activity. The FTC is required to devise rules to define criteria for determining this.


In a Federal Register notice to be published tomorrow, the FTC proposes three tests for determining what e-mail has a commercial primary purpose. First, messages that contain only content that advertises or promotes a product or service. Second, transactional messages would qualify if the subject line would lead a recipient to reasonably think it was an ad message, or the transactional content does not appear at or near the top of the message. Third, the FTC proposed that e-mails with commercial and non-transactional content would qualify if a recipient would reasonably conclude advertising is the purpose of the message.


The FTC originally requested comment March 11 on the primary-purpose rule. It subsequently extended the deadline for accepting comments after requests from five trade associations, including the Direct Marketing Association.


The FTC will accept comments on the proposed primary-purpose definitions online at http://secure.commentworks.com/ftc-canspam. Comments are accepted until Sept. 13.


Share this article:

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in News

News Byte: Comcast Expanding Global Ad Delivery Through Partnership

News Byte: Comcast Expanding Global Ad Delivery Through ...

Through a partnership with Adstream , Comcast's AdDelivery Service expands its footprint across the globe.

40 Under 40 2014: Nominations Are Now Open!

40 Under 40 2014: Nominations Are Now Open!

It's time to nominate the 2014 crop of young marketing luminaries for Direct Marketing News's 40 Under 40 Awards. The deadline is Friday, June 6, 2014.

News Byte: MediaCrossing Partners with ASL Marketing on Youth Marketing Tool

News Byte: MediaCrossing Partners with ASL Marketing on ...

The digital media trading firm and marketing database company aim to help marketers target 13 to 34 year olds.