Regulations For Political Email Messages
As the cool weather blows in changing the color of the leaves and football season is in full swing, we are reminded that fall is upon us. You may have also noticed from the billboards, TV, lawn signs, and radio ads that it is election season as well. In recent years campaign managers have gotten more sophisticated and have incorporated social media into their campaigns via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but email is still a very large part of many federal, state, and local elections.
We are all familiar with the requirements of CAN-SPAM around unsubscribe, content, and sending behavior compliance for marketers, however the FCC has exempted non-commercial messages from the content requirements. This means that while politicians are prohibited from spoofing their sending address they have more leeway with regard to the subject line, message content, and even the handling of opt-outs.
In the past few elections candidates for federal offices have come under fire for their handling of email preferences as well as the harvesting of email addresses. We would think that at this point most of the national elections would have their act together and comply with even the most strict guidelines and best practices of CAN-SPAM so that they do not alienate their supporters and campaign donation benefactors.