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Spam: Annoying, Illegal

Wednesday, February 29, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Ester Venouziou
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Back in 2003, Congress passed legislation to regulate e-mail marketing. That came to be known as Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing, aka CAN-SPAM. Violating the rules can result in fines ($16,000 per violation) as well as criminal charges.

Unfortunately, CAN-SPAM hasn't stopped all the spam. So we thought it might be time for a quick reminder of what we like to call the Golden Marketing Rule: Do not harass potential clients. People like to do business with people they like, and, well, harassment just isn't a very lovable trait.

So let's all play nice. And stay out of trouble.

Make sure you're following the following steps, and you'll be CAN-SPAM compliant:
  1. The subject line must not be misleading. Advertisements must be clearly labeled as such;
  2. The e-mail headers, "from" line and other identifiers in the headers have not been tampered with to conceal your identity;
  3. The body of the e-mail should contain a valid physical address for
    the sender; and
  4. The e-mail must have a functioning opt-out mechanism, and opt-out
    requests must be honored within 10 business days of receipt of that
You can read more about CAN-SPAM on the Federal Communications Commission website.

Ester Venouziou is founder of, Tampa Bay's top advocate for local, independent businesses. Membership is open to shoppers, businesses, artists and non-profits.