FTC Cracks Down on Porn Spam

The FTC has brought enforcement actions against seven companies for violating failing to include the “SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT” label on emails where such labels are required under CAN-SPAM and the implementing FTC regulations (as well as other violations of CAN-SPAM). Four of the companies have settled for a total of over $1.1 million. Although these enforcement actions were generally pretty standard for the FTC, two aspects caught my eye:

First, they reiterate that the FTC is throwing resources at enforcing CAN-SPAM. It’s particularly interesting to see the FTC showcase non-compliance (and its enforcement of) the adult labeling rules…especially in light of its position on mandatory labeling for emails generally.

Second, the FTC went after the advertisers responsible for the emails sent by their affiliate marketers (which CAN-SPAM specifically authorizes), reflecting that the FTC continues to be serious about working “up the chain” to go after the money sources.