The CTIA – The Wireless Association, the membership body for the wireless communication industry in the USA and the Common Short Code Administrator, updated its Short Code Monitoring Handbook on October 1, 2015 (version 1.5.2). This Handbook provides acceptable use policy to guide marketers in industry best practices to ensure that consumer protection is adhered when companies run mobile marketing campaigns in the USA.

The following key updates are set out in the Handbook:

  • express consent is required to opt-in for marketing campaigns as well as information and transaction messaging;
  • opt-in confirmation message requirements are set out for recurring-message programs;
  • there is a need to include Help information and Opt-out information within the message flow at the point of opt-in confirmation for a campaign;
  • there needs to be consistency in the advertising and the messaging for brands and/or products to ensure consumer can clearly identify the relationship between a campaign call to action and the opt-in or campaign messaging consumers receive on their mobile phone;
  • and free-to-end user programs (FTEU) must apply the same rules as per other SMS campaigns and programs but do not need to display “message and data rates may apply” in the message flow.

Clients are advised to study these updated guidelines and to refer to Appendix A and B for examples of SMS messaging that are compliant with the Handbook’s acceptable use policy. The full updated CTIA Short Code Monitoring Handbook is available here.