We have promised to provide updates on proposed California State legislation that would implement more restrictive advertising regulations applicable to email marketing that is sent either from California or to California resident email addresses.

What is the current status of the email marketing legislation?

On August 23, 2018, Bill 2546 (the “Bill”) was read for a third time in the Senate and passed by a vote of 25 to 12, with three Senators abstaining. Because the email marketing Bill has been amended in part to provide clarity, it will now be sent to the Assembly for review and approval. If agreement cannot be reached, the Bill will be referred to a two-house conference committee for resolution. If a compromise is reached, the Bill will be returned to both houses for a vote.

The Senate’s proposed amendments do not add a lot of substantive changes to the email marketing Bill. What has been added are definitions for “unsolicited commercial email advertisement” and “preexisting or current business relationship.” Additionally, whereas in the prior draft of the Bill, the Assembly had lumped all misleading information under one clause to address content within the header, subject line, or body of the email, the Senate has now given each portion of the email its own clause and defining characteristics. Overall, these modifications are unlikely to change the opinion of many legislators as to whether the Bill becomes law.

If you have strong opinions about the content of this Bill, it is not too late to act. In the event that both houses approve the Bill, it will be sent to the Governor for signature. Contacting the Governor’s office by letter or telephone can be an effective way to voice your position on the Bill.