April 14, 2004, 12:00 AM

FTC extends deadline for public comments on CAN-Spam

The Federal Trade Commission, responding to requests from five trade groups, has extended the public comment period on the CAN-Spam Act to April 20.

The Federal Trade Commission, responding to requests from five trade groups including the Direct Marketing Association and the Association of National Advertisers, has extended the public comment period on the CAN-Spam Act to April 20 from April 12. The trade groups cited time lost to recent religious holidays and a need for further consultation with members to prepare comments.

The FTC is accepting online comments at www.regulations.gov, where respondents can fill out a multiple-choice web form as well as write out comments in a text box or attach a separate document. Written comments, referring to the CAN-Spam Act Rulemaking, Project No. R411008, can also be mailed to the FTC, CAN-Spam Act, P.O. Box 1030, Merrifield, VA 22116-1030.

The Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the CAN-Spam Act is available at www.ftc.gov. Although CAN-Spam went into effect on Jan. 1, the FTC has asked for comments on ways to better enforce the law and clarify its provisions. Among the questions for which it seeks input: Is the 10-day requirement to process opt-out requests appropriate? Has new e-mail technology appeared since the law went into effect that warrants a modification of the law’s definition of a “transactional or relationship message?” The law restricts the use of promotional messages in transactional messages, such as order confirmations.

In a separate review process related to CAN-Spam, the FTC has already modified one of its rules based on public input. After receiving 89 comments regarding an initial CAN-Spam rule to identify sexually oriented e-mail material in an e-mail subject line with the header “Sexually-explicit-content,” it removed “content” from the required header to satisfy concerns that the original header was too long to leave room for the intended marketing message.

 

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