Mobile Marketing Derailed: How Curbing Cellphone Spam in Satterfield V. Simon & Schuster May Have Banned Text-Message Advertising

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Executive Summary

The risk of receiving cell-phone spam - in the form of unsolicited text messages - grows as advertisers increasingly target cell-phone users. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) clearly prohibits unsolicited telephone calls made by an Automated Telephone Dialing System (ATDS) without the recipient's express prior consent. But until the Ninth Circuit's decision in Satterfield v. Simon & Schuster, it was unclear how TCPA applied to text messages. Simon & Schuster argued their text messages were not "Calls" under the TCPA and were not sent by an ATDS. The Ninth Circuit disagreed and held a text message is a "Call."

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