Federal court weighs in on promotional text messaging regulation

On January 26, a federal court decision regarding promotional texting and mobile text marketing pushed for businesses to ensure compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. According to Lexology, this means many firms may need to update their SMS texting strategies to ensure they are compliant when acquiring consumer consent before sending any promotional or marketing messages via SMS.

The basis of the TCPA is that it bars companies from using an automatic telephone dialing system to contact consumers without their prior consent. Phillips v. Mozes, Inc., was recently decided in favor of the plaintiff with regard to not providing consent to receiving promotional messages from Coca-Cola.

The court held that the plaintiff had not provided prior express consent, but rather that his mobile phone number was "captured" by a Caller ID and ANI device, allowing for further promotional text messages to be sent. It was decided that, because the plantiff did not explicitly provide his phone number to the company, the later messages he received were unsolicited under the TCPA.

Businesses need to be careful and ensure they are using their ATDS and ANI solutions appropriately and within FCC guidelines to minimize risk and ensure that only consumers who explicitly ask to receive promotional text messages. Implementing a high-quality mobile text marketing strategy means optimizing your messaging system for maximum delivery and reach, but also complying with FCC regulations and guidelines to ensure consumers are appropriately informed of marketing campaign and texting options.

If your business is considering implement text message marketing, ensure you have the needed bulk SMS service to properly manage subscriber lists.