Last week, email marketing lawyers and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a $500,000.00 settlement between the agency and a company offering weight-loss products which were allegedly marketed via email in violation of federal law. The FTC alleged that the defendant corporations (all related) and their respective principal “paid affiliate marketers to send consumers millions of illegal spam emails from hacked email accounts, making it appear that the messages came from the consumers’ family members, friends, or other contacts.” The email messages contained links to the Defendants’ website. According to the FTC, the website contained deceptive representations regarding product efficacy and false celebrity endorsements.

In December 2016, the defendants’ email marketing lawyer began negotiating a settlement with the FTC. On March 3, 2017, the Court accepted the parties’ proposed settlement.

What are the Terms of the FTC’s Anti-SPAM Settlement Agreement?

The parties agreed to a $1,303,822.98 settlement. However, all but $500,000.00 has been suspended due to the represented financial condition of the defendants. In addition, the defendants have agreed to monitor all email marketing affiliates to ensure that no further SPAM violations occur. The defendants are also prohibited from making any false or misleading claims about either their products or any celebrities who may endorse their products in the future.

Protect Yourself: Consult with an Email Marketing Attorney Today

Email marketing attorneys counsel their clients to not only comply with federal anti-SPAM laws, but state anti-SPAM laws as well which, in some instances, may be more stringent. To avoid ending up in the crosshairs of the FTC, or that of a private litigant for that matter, it is important to consult with competent email marketing attorneys prior to commencing any campaign.