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New fax advertising rule requiring opt-out choice takes effect Aug. 1

November 18, 2010

The Federal Communications Commission has implemented new restrictions on fax ads that take effect Aug. 1. A broad industry coalition last year secured enactment of the Junk Fax Prevention Act, which preserves the essential established business relationship as an appropriate basis to send fax ads to consumers and businesses.

 

The NADA prepared a summary of the new restrictions at www.nada.org/faxadvertising (NADA member number required), including sample opt-out notices. The NADA is mailing the summary to all its members.  

The FCC’s new rule generally requires:

        (ithat senders must include on the first page of their fax ads a clear and conspicuous notice that recipients may opt-out of future fax ads from the sender;

        (ii) that notices contain certain information, including a continuously available phone number, fax number and cost-free mechanism for recipients to transmit an opt-out request;

        (iii) that senders comply with opt-out requests within 30 days of the request, and sooner if they are capable of doing so; and

        (iv) that in addition to the need to have an established business relationship with, or prior express permission from, the recipient of a fax ad, senders may only fax to numbers the recipient has voluntarily provided.

 

An established business relationship is formed from an inquiry, application, purchase or transaction. An inquiry or application must involve a product or service offered by the sender. Unlike with the national Do-Not-Call list, there is no time limit to an established business relationship; the relationship ends when the fax recipient tells the person or entity to stop sending unsolicited advertisements.

 

Sample opt-out disclosure

 

An example of an opt-out disclosure that should appear in bold print on the first page of the fax:

 

If you no longer wish to receive fax advertisements from [name of dealership], please call [toll-free number] or send a fax to [fax number] and provide the following information so that we can process your request: your name, the name of your company (if applicable), your fax number(s) and an indication that you do not wish to receive fax advertisements from [name of dealership]. We must process your request within 30 days.

 

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