Ten years on, TEN PER CENT of retailers aren't obeying CAN-SPAM

Unscrupulous marketers are, guess what, still being gits

One in 10 of the world’s largest online retailers are sill violating the CAN-SPAM Act, a full 10 years after the US anti-spam legislation went into effect.

The finding comes from an audit by the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), a non-profit with the mission to enhance online trust. They also found that 70 per cent of 200 online retailers surveyed are making it easy for consumers to unsubscribe from marketing emails.

Coach, Staples and LivingSocial achieve perfect scores in the OTA audit of best unsubscribe policies.

The organisation is not naming and shaming the prominent e-merchants that are flagrantly spraying prospects with junk mail in contravention of the US CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL).

The retailers who violated CAN-SPAM did so by either a) failing to honor an unsubscribe request within 10 business days or b) failing to have a functional unsubscribe link within their emails

The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) is not naming any of the retailers who failed CAN-SPAM, "because the organization aims to recognize industry leaders, as opposed to publicly shaming companies," according to a spokesman.

Both laws help to protect consumers from abuse by establishing mandatory standards for the dissemination of commercial email.

The best practices that OTA scored retailers on included: using a clear and conspicuous opt-out link; having unsubscribe text that is easy to read and visible; immediately removing consumers from a subscription list once they opt out; and providing users the option to unsubscribe, opt-down or make other changes to marketing email preferences.

The complete list of best practices and audit report are available here. ®

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