ACM Takes Next Step in Combating Spam

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Two major affiliate networks take their responsibility in combating spam. They do this in response to research and earlier enforcement of the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). The affiliate networks Zanox and Tradetracker have taken measures to prevent spam. The networks demand (and check) that advertisers and publishers have specific consent from the consumers they want to approach for sending promotional emails. If there is no consent from the consumer, no mailings will be forwarded via the networks and ultimately this may lead to the exclusion of an advertiser or publisher from the network. The companies inform advertisers and publishers in their network actively about these rules.

Anita Vegter, member of the board of ACM: “It is right and important that these two parties take their responsibility to prevent spam. We expect more networks will follow.”

Addressing spam

Spam messages are commercial electronic messages that consumers receive without having given their specific consent. Sending spam is prohibited. Affiliate networks (such as Zanox and Tradetracker) manage a network in which advertisers and publishers come together to convey commercial messages to consumers and businesses. Advertisers offer promotional content on the network. Publishers have e-mail directories or websites and send or publish the promotional content. The affiliate networks manage the network and can therefore impose requirements on parties using their network. The affiliate networks are an important link in combating spam.

ACM has imposed a fine of more than 800,000 euros in 2013 to an affiliate network. This company was as a network, publisher and advertiser involved in sending spam messages on a large scale. By this ACM has sent a clear message about the responsibility of affiliate networks with respect to e-mail marketing. The networks are, together with advertisers and publishers, jointly responsible for sending the emails. ACM is currently investigating several other affiliate networks.

To inform advertisers about the rules with respect to spam the organization for online marketing DDMA sharpens its directive for email marketing. The revised directive deals with the sending of commercial e-mails in the case the advertiser uses third-party directories.

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