|Received:||8/15/2004 11:37:20 AM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Definitions, Implementation, and Reporting Requirements Under the CAN-SPAM Act (NPRM)|
Comments:Over the past five years I have been working on developing an Internet advertising process that combines subtle commercial content with personal email that is sent back and forth between friends and relatives. This works through the provision of commercially branded email stationery templates to consumers to use when composing personal email messages. For example, Coca-Cola may “sponsor” Christmas email stationery. Consumers will be free to use this if they wish. The primary graphical content will be an attractive, colorful, Christmas-card type image. The secondary graphical content will be a small Coca-Cola logo, with an embedded link to the Coca-Cola website. The only text content will be the personal message composed by the consumer and sent to a friend. This is much like the concept of branded e-postcards distributed by many commercial websites. Details of this service can be found at: http://www.buzzletter.com/adv1.html Since the inception of the CAN-SPAM Act, I have been informed by many large companies (GM, Kraft Foods, etc.) that they are unclear whether or not our service is legal under the CAN-SPAM Act. While I believe that our service is in compliance with CAN-SPAM, and I believe that the new clarifications of “primary purpose” make this more clear, I would still request that you consider an additional clarification. Specifically, I believe that an email message that carries commercial content (our branded email stationery, for example) should not be considered SPAM when the sender has no potential for financial or other type of gain through the distribution of the commercial content. The purpose of this clarification is to allow for the possibility that consumers may elect to incorporate some commercial content in personal email they send to one another. While my personal interest is in our branded email stationery, I believe that this clarification will help with cases where a consumer would elect to forward a different type of commercial message to a friend or relative for some reason. I thank you for your consideration, and will be please to provide any additional clarification upon request.