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DMA STATEMENT ON FTC RULING ON PRIMARY PURPOSE OF COMMERCIAL E-MAILNew York, December 16, 2004 - As part of the ongoing rulemaking process of the CAN-SPAM Act, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that it has set forth its final regulations that define the criteria to determine the "primary purpose" of commercial e-mail. The rule primarily followed the proposal set forth this summer by the Commission. The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) believes that the standards set forth today by the FTC provide additional guidance for senders of e-mail to understand their legal obligations under the CAN-SPAM Act.
The DMA commends the Commission for clarifying that messages, which are purely a result of a transaction with the recipient, fall outside of the requirements imposed on commercial e-mail. This provides clarity for marketers sending bills or statements of account, which are not advertisements, to customers. Further, The DMA is pleased with the FTC for having responded to The DMA's request to clarify that a subscription newsletter - even if it contains advertising - is a transactional message.
The DMA looks forward to working with the FTC as it proceeds with future rulemakings to address other areas regarding the implementation of the CAN-SPAM Act.