Spammer Settles With FTC

Michael Hayes
WASHINGTON — Yesmail has agreed to pay $50,000 in civil penalties to the Federal Trade Commission as part of its stipulated settlement with the agency for violations of the Can-Spam Act.

The FTC complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, centers on the company’s failure to remove recipients from its bulk email list within the statutorily mandated 10-busines-day period.

The FTC accused San Carlos, Calif.-based Yesmail, which also does business as @Once Corp., of setting its spam filtering software to filter out unsubscribe requests from recipients as spam.

“This really illustrates the importance of strictly complying with the Can-Spam Act and other highly technical direct marketing statutes, such as the Telemarketing Sales Rule,” attorney Joseph Lewczak said. “More than that, however, it shows how critically important it is to have processes and procedures in place for compliance that you know work.”

Lewczak said he advises clients who engage in sending bulk emails to institute a series of safeguards to ensure compliance with the law. His tips include: putting a written spam policy in place, training personal and vendors on the law, keeping records, testing their policy and appointing a chief spam officer.

“Taking the foregoing steps won't ensure that you will never violate the act; however, it will make it extremely less likely to happen,” he said. “In addition, the FTC will look favorably upon companies that take compliance seriously and that implement processes and procedures to prevent a violation."

According to Lewczak, Yesmail could have faced $11,000 per violation.

Yesmail was accused of sending out “thousands” of unsolicited emails.

To read a copy of the settlement, click here.