The year 2018 was a busy one for telemarketing and email marketing laws. Congress passed five pieces of legislation impacting your email marketing efforts in some way. Here’s a quick run-down of the five pieces of 2018 legislation that affect email marketing and telemarketing.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act
Two decades ago, the TCPA was passed in order to protect consumers from receiving unsolicited commercial calls – with a few exceptions. The TCPA created two new crimes: (1) “Automatic Commercial Calls” and (2) “Cancelable Alerts.” The former is making telemarketing calls to consumers without their prior consent. The latter is sending emails that contain commercial content to consumers without their consent. To comply with the TCPA, you must get advance consent from consumers before you send them email marketing messages and make telemarketing calls to them. Additionally, you need to provide them with unsubscribe information if they want to stop receiving your email marketing messages or avoid being charged for receiving them.
As a business owner, marketer or employee, you must be extremely careful when it comes to not breaking the law – particularly the TCPA. If you’re not sure how to comply with the act, contact a reputable legal counsel to assist you.
The 2018 Farm Bill
The 2018 Farm Bill includes several provisions that impact your email marketing and telemarketing practices. First, it reauthorizes the Nutrition School Lunch Program. Second, it expands the program’s eligibility criteria by including more types of industries in its scope (e.g., manufacturing, service, and agriculture). Third, it includes a provision that requires large food manufacturers to disclose their contract farmers. This piece of legislation makes it easier for consumers to learn about the food they eat and ensures they’re not purchasing produce from farms impacted by irresponsible practices (e.g., child labor, animal abuse, and unsafe business conditions).
As a manufacturer, importer, or shipper of food, you must ensure your processes are safe and ethical and that your contracts with suppliers comply with all relevant laws and regulations. If you’re not sure whether or not your processes comply, contact a reputable legal counsel to assess their compliance.
The 2018 Budget And Regulatory Reform Act
Another piece of legislation that affects email marketing and telemarketing is the 2018 Budget And Regulatory Reform Act. Among other things, this bill makes it easier for consumers to request their own credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. In the past, a consumer had to go through an extensive credit check before getting their credit reports. This bill will also require more federal agencies to regulate social media sites and apps since they’re now considered “information services.” As part of the 2018 Budget And Regulatory Reform Act, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must review its net neutrality rules to determine whether or not they remain consistent with the new Congressional framework.
As a business owner, marketer, or employee, you must be aware of the budget and regulatory reform legislation that Congress passed in 2018. Make sure you remain abreast of any changes the FCC makes to its net neutrality rules and how those rules impact your business.
The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act
Finally, we have the 2018 Tax Cuts And Jobs Act. This act was introduced in the House of Representatives in December 2017 and passed by both houses of Congress in the fall of 2018. One of the primary purposes of the act is to reduce the amount of taxes many small businesses and individuals pay. The act includes several provisions that promote investment and job creation – particularly in the internet sector.
Among other things, the act changes how passive activity is treated for tax purposes. Prior to the TCJA, passive activity meant you couldn’t earn any money from your trade or business – regardless of how many hours you worked. The TCJA allows for a more realistic view of income and how it is reported. For example, if you’re a real estate agent, you can now actively participate in the effort to sell a property you’ve listed for sale.
Additionally, the TCJA allows for more flexibility when it comes to your individual tax returns. If you’re self-employed and you participate in an internet based trade or business, you can now choose whether or not to file a business or individual income tax return.
As a business owner, marketer, or employee, you must be aware of the tax reform legislation that was just passed. Make sure you have your tax advisor assess the full impact of this new law on your business.
Considering all the legislation that was just passed, your time will be more valuable. This is because you must now stay abreast of any changes that arise from this activity and ensure your practices comply with all relevant laws and regulations. If you’re not sure whether or not your practices comply, contact a reputable legal counsel to assist you.