A few days ago, I received a text from Kellogg’s asking me to confirm my SMS subscription and get my authorization for text messages from Kellogg’s Family Rewards (KFR). Didn’t I already do this, I thought? Why ask me again, if I already opted in and expressly told them to communicate to me that way.
Turns out that while I requested Texting as my preferred method of communication with KFR, I didn’t give them actual written permission. I simply checked an opt-in box and assumed my participation in this program. So now Kellogg’s was asking me to expressly say “Yes” in response to their text, or I would no longer be communicated to the way I wanted to…
Hmmmmm… something was indeed up. Was I being spammed by some hacker for some reason? Was their some lost record? Maybe I never truly did opt in?
Actually it was none of the above. In February of 2012, The FCC adopted new rules to protect consumers from unwanted robo-calls that were neither dialed nor delivered by an actual human. As part of this rule, text messages fell (somehow) into this orbit, and the only way to opt in to wanting such communication is to agree in writing that you indeed accept the terms. And while the FCC gave advertisers and marketers plenty of time to adopt the new rule, the day the rule takes effect is tomorrow, Wednesday, October 16.
So if you find that you are being “spammed” all of a sudden by your favorite retailers, brands, clubs, etc., it’s not rally spam at all. It’s just a savvy marketing department following the letter of the FCC law. It’s also your chance to re opt in, or not.
There is a great article on all the nuances of this in CouponsInTheNews.
- Changes to Text Message Marketing and SMS Marketing Rules (cyberspacetoyourplace.com)
- Mobile Marketing Industry to Face Stricter Regulations (virtual-strategy.com)
- Ban on most robocalls and text message spam gets stronger this month (arstechnica.com)