FTC Orders ‘SEXUALLY EXPLICIT’ Spam Labels

Rhett Pardon
WASHINGTON, D.C. – “SEXUALLY EXPLICIT.”

That’s what the Federal Trade Commission is requiring all online adult spam email to be labeled on subject lines starting May 19.

The Tuesday announcement also ordered the messages themselves not to contain graphic material.

Congress passed the first nationwide anti-spam law last year, which required the FTC to develop labels for smut, when they appeared outraged over unsolicited pornography.

“SEXUALLY EXPLICIT” will have to be contained on the subject line so email users can easily filter it out. Online adult spammers will not be allowed to include sexually explicit pictures in the body of the message, as well, though they will be allowed to include hyperlinks or other methods to access their material. And they won’t be allowed to use explicit phrases in the subject line, the FTC said.

Like other online marketers, they will also have to include their postal address and an easy way for recipients to opt out of future mailings.

An FTC study released last year found that 17 percent of online adult offers contained images of nudity that appeared whether a recipient wanted to see them or not.