A Utah judge has fined a marketing company over $1 million for violating the CAN-SPAM Act. According to court documents, a Utah-based ISP named ZooBuh got fed up after receiving nearly 15,000 spam messages from marketing firm Better Broadcasting over an eight-month period.Better Broadcasting ignored their complaints, so the ISP filed a CAN-SPAM complaint against them and won.
The judge found that Better Broadcasting had ignored the mandate that every message they send must have clearly visible opt-out directions. They, for some reason, decided to provide their opt-out information as an image hosted by a third-party server. Most email clients block such images, and they tend to disappear from the servers they are hosted on after a short time. Better Broadcasting was also found in violation for using the same bizarre image hosting to deliver their postal address (another piece of info that per CAN-SPAM must be included on every message) and notice that the message was an advertisement. All of the remotely hosted images were broken on every spam message they sent ZooBuh customers.
Neither Better Broadcasting nor ZooBuh has had any comment on the ruling, but I’m sure ZooBuh is very happy. They, like most ISPs, spend a lot of time and money dealing with spam and shady marketers like BB can cost them big bucks. I am also sure Better Broadcasting will pay much closer attention to the CAN-SPAM Act’s requirements as they certainly have over a million reasons to do so now. No businesses can afford to thumb their noses at their federal and state spam laws, so make sure you and your employees are up to date on them and 100% compliant.