New Sweepstakes Mailing Requirement Now In Effect

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Yesterday marked the day that all sweepstakes mailings were required to provide information that will allow consumers to have their names removed from such mailing lists.

This new requirement is the last provision of the Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act, which was signed into law on Dec. 12, 1999.

"Consumers who receive sweepstakes mailings will now have the option of asking to be removed from these mailing lists," said Sen. Susan M. Collins, R-ME, who co-sponsored the legislation. "No longer will sweepstakes companies be able to flood the mailboxes of individuals who don't want these mailings."

Companies sending sweepstakes or contest mailings are now required to display a clear and conspicuous notice in each mailing that includes the address or toll-free phone number that consumers can contact to have their names removed from future mailings of that company. Each company must have a system in place to remove names within 60 days.

Under the new sweepstakes law, mailings must clearly state that a purchase is not necessary to enter a sweepstakes and that a purchase will not improve the chances of winning.

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