The Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibits text advertising without the prior written consent of the texted party. However, some broadcasters continue to engage in the practice—iHeart Radio recently agreed to pay an $8.5 million settlement in a texting lawsuit.
Womble Carlyle Telecom attorney John Garziglia said automatic texts can create major headaches for radio stations. In discussing the automatic texting with Radio Ink, Garziglia said stations should ask the following questions:
- Are you obtaining express written consent prior to texting any advertising messages to listeners?
- Are such written consent forms clear as to what is being consented to?
- If the text messages being sent are not advertising but are strictly informational, are you still obtaining some form of consent?
- Are your opt-out methods to withdraw consent easy to use and do they actually work?
- Do your contracts with third-party vendors or marketing partners require TCPA compliance by them and their agents?
John Garziglia represents radio and television broadcasters, offering personalized assistance in all areas of communications and telecommunications law including transactional and contract negotiations for broadcast station mergers and acquisitions, the securing of financing, governmental auctions of new frequencies, license renewals, new stations applications, facility changes, facility upgrades, licensing, and compliance with FCC rules, regulations and policies.
Follow John Garziglia on Twitter at @JohnGarziglia.