Commercial Email Advertisements Using Both Proxy/Privately Registered Domains And Generic From Lines Deemed Unlawful


The California appellate court’s decision in Balsam v. Trancos requires marketers nationwide using commercial email advertisements to include in the from line of each email a domain name that is registered to the sender which can be determined by performing a WHOIS look-up, or the name of the sender or marketer on whose behalf the email was sent. Therefore, under this ruling, marketers – and the companies they hire including affiliate networks – can no longer send commercial email that contains both a generic from line and is sent from a proxy/privately registered domain name. Marketers nationwide must take immediate action to ensure compliance with this latest development in anti-spam law.

The California Anti-Spam Statute and CAN-SPAM

California Business and Professions Code § 17529.5(a)(2) prohibits commercial email which “contains or is accompanied by falsified, misrepresented, or forged header information.” B&P Code § 17529.5(a)(2) is substantially similar to § 7704(a)(1) of CAN-SPAM, prohibiting commercial email “that contains, or is accompanied by, header information that is materially false or materially misleading.” B&P Code § 17529.5(a)(2) applies to marketers and their affiliate marketers who either send commercial emails from California or send commercial emails to California consumers.

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Published In: General Business Updates, Communications & Media Updates, Consumer Protection Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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