Many B2C companies are beginning to explore marketing to consumers’ wireless devices using text messaging (“SMS,” or “short message service”) and MMS messaging (“Multi-media Messaging Service”). They may even target their promotions based on where the recipient is physically located using the wireless device’s GPS technology. They also may target their promotions to teens and tweens. What legal issues should companies be aware of as they navigate through this relatively new area?
Statutes. Statutorily, we have two federal laws that apply to mobile messaging: the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the “TCPA”) and the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (the “CAN-SPAM Act”). Each of these laws apply to mobile promotional messaging, depending on the technology used to send the messages. We also have a host of state laws that apply, either expressly or implicitly, to mobile promotional messaging. In summary, the laws require that companies obtain express consent from individuals before sending promotional messages to their wireless devices. In some cases, specific consent language is required.