Mobile Marketers Stand Together To Lobby FCC

Stephen King-Cell

A recent court ruling stating that sending text message ads can violate a federal consumer protection law has spurred mobile marketers to form a new lobbying group.

The new organization, Mobile Advocacy Coalition, intends to ask the Federal Communications Commission to specify that technology companies that act as "mere conduits" aren't liable for wireless ads that violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, according to the group's attorney, Scott Delacourt, a lawyer at Wiley Rein.

Delacourt added that the group intends to ask the FCC to issue a ruling stating that "a provider of software that's capable of sending one-to-many text messages is not the sender of the messages and, therefore, not liable for their content."

The coalition came together in response to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal's recent decision in a lawsuit against Simon & Schuster and mobile marketing company ipsh! The court ruled in that case that sending SMS messages promoting Stephen King's "Cell" potentially violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. That law prohibits companies from using automatic telephone dialing systems to make calls to cell phones unless the owners have consented. The decision marked the first time that a federal appellate court has said that the telephone law applies to text messages

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