The makers of Spam canned lunch meat, Hormel Foods, Austin, Minn., have taken exception to the way their legendary product's name has been used to refer to junk e-mail.So the ratification of the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing), which went into effect January 1, had to come as a relief to Hormel executives. If the law works as effectively as many hope, spam e-mail may disappear-along with the ubiquitous reference to Hormel's product name.
CAN-SPAM was designed to prohibit companies from sending fraudulent e-mails, as well as transmitting e-mails after objections from recipients. Insurers say they are pleased with the law-both what was included and what was left out.
Specific stipulations of the law include:
* E-mail must use accurate and valid header information that identifies the sender.
* E-mail must have a domain name, originating e-mail address and destination.
* E-mail must have subject headings that accurately describe its commercial purpose and content.
* Recipients must be able to "opt out" of future e-mails. The sender must refrain from sending e-mail messages after the recipient requested not to receive any in the future.
* Sender must provide a valid return e-mail address and a full physical postal address.
What was omitted from the law is also important to many insurers and other corporations. As the House and Senate examined the measure, a provision was considered that would have forced companies to put specific details in a subject line, according to Thomas Graham, vice president, direct to consumer marketing, for Omaha, Neb.-based Mutual of Omaha.
For instance, it was discussed whether the subject line of an e-mail should include the phrase "Adult Content" if the offer that a company was marketing was being targeted to adults. "You could have imagined the potential problems: Some people would see 'Adult Content' and assume it was pornography, and delete the e-mail," says Graham.
This provision was stricken from the law-as was an attempt to provide a "Do Not E-mail" list. similar to the Do Not Call registry that governs telemarketing. The Federal Trade Commission helped defeat the "Do Not E-Mail" list mainly because people change e-mail addresses so often that it would have been extremely difficult to maintain an accurate list, says Graham.
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Digital Insurance content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access