May 15, 2006

Kodak/Ofoto Settles FTC CAN-SPAM Charges

If you thought the FTC wasn’t serious about all their rules outlined in CAN-SPAM, or you thought that they were just using it to go after the "viagra" kind of spammers and scammers, be sure to read this article about how they charged Kodak with violating some key requirements of the law. A little snippet:

The FTC charged that Kodak Imaging Network, formerly Ofoto, Inc., sent a commercial e-mail message to more than two million recipients that failed to contain an opt-out mechanism, failed to disclose in the e-mail message that consumers have the right to opt-out of receiving further mailings, and failed to include a valid physical postal address, as required by law…The stipulated final judgment with Kodak Imaging Network prohibits future violations of the CAN-SPAM Act and imposes $26,331 in civil penalties, which represents a one hundred percent disgorgement of the gross proceeds from the offending e-mail campaign.

$26k is chump-change to Kodak, but it’s a very public slap-on-the-wrist to let all email marketers out there know that the FTC isn’t joking around. Can your business afford a $26,000 fine (plus the embarassment)? If you haven’t read through CAN-SPAM, here’s the link.