MMA Releases Update to Mobile Marketing Best Practices

May 24, 2011

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), a mobile industry trade group representing over 750 companies, recently released its latest update (version 6.1) of its “U.S. Consumer Best Practices Guidelines,” which provides a compilation of mobile industry best practices, policies and regulatory guidance in connection with marketing matters using mobile technology.  The document  focuses on consumer protection and privacy to ensure that mobile users have a good user experience on the theory that what is good for the consumer is good for the industry. 

While at first glance the document may appear to be technical in nature, it actually breaks down recommended practices and wireless carrier policies in a methodical and straightforward manner that makes the Guidelines quite useful as a reference point in preparing or fine tuning marketing programs and related legal terms and conditions.

PDF of Guidelines:  MMA Consumer Best Practices (Version 6.1)

Text Messages Again Affirmed To Be “Calls” Under TCPA

February 28, 2010

Another federal court not long ago affirmed that text messages come within the scope of unsolicited “calls” that are prohibited under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).   Notable here is that, unlike in a previous U.S. Circuit Court opinion on the same issue (Satterfield v. Simon & Schuster, 569 F.3d 946 (9th Cir. 2009)), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in reaching its conclusions went through a more extensive analysis of the statute, its legislative history and related Federal Communications Commission rules and pronouncements.  The result is that this decision, Abbas v. Selling Source, Case No. 09-CV-3413 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 14, 2009), combined with the Ninth Circuit’s views in Satterfield, is likely to put this issue to rest.

The TCPA prohibits a person “to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with the prior express consent of the called party) using any automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice . . . (iii) to any telephone number assigned to a paging service, cellular telephone service, specialized mobile radio service, or other radio common carrier service, or any service for which the called party is charged for the call[.]”  47 U.S.C. Sec. 227(b)(1)(A)(iii). 

In addition to confirming that text messages are “calls” within the meaning of the TCPA, the Abbas court also followed the Satterfield court’s view that  merely using a device or system that has the capacity to perform automatic telephone dialing is sufficient to invoke the statutory prohibition even if the automatic dialing feature was not actually used in sending out the subject messages.

PDF of  Abbas v. Selling Source Opinion