What’s an FTC complaint? – The rules for email marketing are defined by the CAN SPAM act. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) fields complaints and enforces the law. Each unsolicited email a company sends can result in a $16,000 fine. So most legitimate businesses do not send emails that do not contain a mechanism that allows email recipients to opt-out (remove themselves from the list) and that violate CAN PAM in any way. To file a complaint against a spammer, or an internet fraudster, just go to the FTC Complaint website.
Since February 4, 2010 I’ve received five emails from a company called Weber Shandwick that have marketed General Motors products. Weber Shandwick appears to me a very professional marketing/advertising agency so I can only imagine that General Motors is a client and these emails are the result of a paid marketing campaign. None of the emails contained the required CAN SPAM language or opt out links. I’ve asked them to be removed from their distribution lists with no action on their part.
So… if you know who is spamming you, and you have 30 minutes to potentially waste, file a complaint. Most unsolicited email you’ll receive from someone recognizable is CAN SPAM compliant, so most of the time it’s not worth the effort because there is no way to stop all spammers. Big corporate email marketers should be much smarter than that.
If you’re curious… here are the emails I received from Weber Shandwick.