FCC Issues Ruling on SoundBite Petition: Confirmatory Opt-Out Messages Are Not In Violation of TCPA | MMA Global

FCC Issues Ruling on SoundBite Petition: Confirmatory Opt-Out Messages Are Not In Violation of TCPA

November 30, 2012

The Mobile Marketing Association led its membership to garner support for SoundBite’s petition and reinforce the viability of mobile messaging practices

New York, NY, 30 November 2012 — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Declaratory Ruling based on a petition filed by SoundBite Communications that states a confirmatory stop text message, a text message sent to a consumer in response to an opt-out request, does not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), the leading global trade association for the mobile marketing industry, and SoundBite Communications, a customer communications expert and industry influencer, led an alliance of MMA members and trade associations, including the CTIA, to raise industry support for SoundBite’s filing. The petition was initially filed in February 2012. 

“With this ruling we have potentially saved the industry billions of dollars. Marketers can safely use messaging and respect the boundaries of consumers to strengthen their relationship,” said Greg Stuart, CEO, Mobile Marketing Association. “The MMA’s mission is to advance the mobile marketing movement and so we have dedicated resources to provide standards, guidance, and if need be, protection to ensure that we as an industry move forward. This ruling is a testament to our efforts and our dedication to fight for a resolution.”

The Declaratory Ruling further aligns TCPA with established industry guidelines including the MMA’s “U.S. Consumer Best Practices for Messaging” and provides clarity to marketers on how to handle consumer requests to op-out of text messaging programs. SoundBite, as well as many other organizations, risked potential lawsuits for sending confirmatory stop text messages. This issue has been a point of discussion and debate across the marketing community and the FCC’s ruling is a testament to the industry banding together to address market friction and seek a resolution. 

“We commend SoundBite’s leadership and work with the Mobile Marketing Association to secure this ruling.  The entire industry was at risk of litigation or having their messaging shutdown by mobile carriers because of the ambiguity around the legality of confirmatory stop texts. However, with the FCC’s ruling we have achieved clarity and reaffirmed guidelines set by industry authorities,” said Michael Becker, Managing Director, Mobile Marketing Association. “We have reenergized mobile messaging as a viable marketing channel and, ultimately, improved the consumer’s mobile experience.” 

“"We appreciate the support from the Mobile Marketing Association in raising awareness of this issue and helping to bring closure to this conflict between TCPA regulations and industry best practices. Collectively, our voices made a difference, and consumers and businesses conducting mobile marketing will benefit as a result. SoundBite Communications is proud to have led this initiative and secured this outcome on behalf of the mobile marketing industry,” said Jim Milton, president and CEO, SoundBite Communications.

The MMA member companies, in addition to SoundBite, that supported the petition include, 4INFO, Inc., Actium Advisors LLC dba Acta Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Clairmail Inc., iLoop Mobile, Inc. (Archer), Jesta Digital, Mogreet, Inc., Syniverse Technologies, Telescope, Inc., The Hyperfactory, Vibes Media, Waterfall Mobile, Inc.

 To review the FCC’s declaratory ruling visit: http://www.fcc.gov/document/declaratory-ruling-re-soundbite-tcpa-petition 

About the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) is the premier global non-profit trade association established to lead the growth of mobile marketing and its associated technologies. The MMA is an action-oriented organization designed to clear obstacles to market development, establish mobile media guidelines and best practices for sustainable growth, and evangelize the use of the mobile channel. The more than 700 member companies, representing nearly fifty countries around the globe, include all members of the mobile media ecosystem. The Mobile Marketing Association’s global headquarters are located in the United States and it has regional chapters including North America (NA), Europe (EUR), Latin American (LATAM) and Asia Pacific (APAC) branches. For more information, please visit www.mmaglobal.com. For information relating to the MMA’s Mobile Marketing Forum series, please visit www.mobilemarketingforum.com.

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Rebecca Laming
Director of Communications, MMA
M: +1 917-558-1828