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FTC Charges Companies for Affiliate Spam

You are responsible for your affiliates!

5:41 pm on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged seven companies with violating anti-porn provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act as a result of activity by their marketing affiliates, the commission announced yesterday.

Ouch, I didn't realize this could happen. The question is, how can companies protect themselves from rouge affiliates?

6:56 pm on July 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It sounds like these were adult companies that hoped using affiliates to send adult spam might shield them from the law. And were wrong.

I seriously doubt that if your company is selling blue widgets (and no adult) that one of your affiliates is going to send adult spam along with offers for blue widgets.

[edited by: engine at 7:20 pm (utc) on July 21, 2005]

9:15 pm on July 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Spitzer in NY filed suit against a company when the affiliate of their affiliate sent spam on their behalf.


That was nearly 2 years ago. If they thought that somehow they would be treated differently, they were just stupid.

10:02 pm on July 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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They have to do it that way to close loopholes.
10:38 pm on July 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You have to understand, while these companies prohibited affiliates from using non CAN-SPAM compliant mailing in their TOS, they were not doing anything to stop their spamming affiliates. There have been complaints for years on adult boards about these companies.
12:48 pm on July 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I am willing to bet that these companies charged, one who happens to operate out of my city, have been warned several times by the government to stop. They probably figured they were safe because they were using affiliates...

I don't think it would have pursued like this without some history behind it.

7:10 pm on July 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Some shady companies become their own affiliates and send spam and then blame the spam on their affiliates. I would bet these guys were doing that.