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Happy New Year?

November 22, 2010

E-mail spam regulations On Dec. 16, President Bush signed the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM Act) of 2003. The law, which took effect Jan. 1, imposes new restrictions on dealers who use e-mail to market their products and services. Among the new responsibilities imposed by the law is that dealers must prominently offer their customers the opportunity to opt out of future commercial e-mail solicitations. Dealers also must ensure that each commercial e-mail solicitation • identifies the message as an advertisement or solicitation; • includes a functioning return email address that the recipient can use to submit an opt-out request; and • provides a valid physical postal address for the dealer's business. Opt-out requests must be processed within 10 business days of receipt and ensure future e-mail solicitations are not sent to the requesters. These requirements do not apply to transactional or relationship e-mail messages, which are defined in a summary prepared by the NADA's Regulatory Affairs staff. As you can see, this legislation provided very little lead-time to comply with the new requirements, which dealers must do immediately. The summary is available on the Member Sevices>Government Affairs>Regulation page of or through the NADA's fax-on-demand service. Call 800-778-7209 and request Document No. 85. The NADA will keep dealers updated on any regulatory developments in what continues to be a steady stream of congressional mandates and regulations. Las Vegas, here we come! As we begin a new year, the NADA is in the final stages of  preparation for our Industry Event of the Year, the NADA Convention and Exposition, which begins Jan. 31. Anyone who is not pre-registered must register on-site. The Convention Committee, led by NADA director Carl Barnett, has a fantastic program with wonderful speakers, informative exhibits, and the chance to meet face-to-face with your fellow dealers and senior manufacturer representatives. Don't miss a thing! For information on the programs, speakers, workshops, exhibits, lifestyle programs, hotels and tours, and to schedule your time at the show, and click on the home page Convention icon. This year, for the first time, the American Financial Services Association has invited us to come early and enjoy the association's Auto Finance Conference and Exposition, Jan. 28-30 at the Ritz Carlton Lake Las Vegas. With all the media attention given to auto dealers and financing, this is a most timely invitation. Speakers leading a panel discussion include Mike Jackson of AutoNation; Allan Gilmour, vice chairman of Ford Motor Co.; and Lin Peacock, executive director of the NADA Industry Affairs Division. Happy 25th, Dealer Academy! The NADA Dealer Academy marks 25 years this month. The first Dealer Candidate Academy class in 1979 had 16 students, and the DCA remains the most popular course today. More than 400 students are expected to participate in the program this year alone. Classes have opened for dealership managers and expanded to include auction courses and weekend refresher courses for past students. All GM minority dealer candidates can enroll in the DCA program to boost their success, and many other manufacturers encourage future dealers to take the NADA's premier training. In other news: • I hope you're all using NADAExpress Internet home page to make your day easier. It's a personal planner that presents information customized to your specifications. Select from NADA information, online publications, financial info sources, leisure pursuit sites, and other options to have what you need-right at your fingertips and free, a benefit of NADA membership. • The NADA continues to defend dealers and the franchise system in the media against unwarranted criticism by the Wall Street Journal, "Dateline NBC" and Public Citizen. NADA Chairman Alan Starling's remarks and letters have appeared in several media outlets. Exposing the critics' affiliations has called into question their comments. Please review the NADA's Code of Ethics to be sure your dealership rises above the naysayers' cries of fraud and deception. As always, as your NADA board member, I stand ready to bring your views to the national office, and national office to you, so keep in touch. I hope to see you in Las Vegas!