CTIA Text Message Marketing Audits for May 2014

The CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) is a trade association made up of the wireless carriers and others that operate in the mobile space. CTIA created the “Common Short Code System,” which is the primary means of sending SMS marketing messages to consumers. As part of the Short Code system, CTIA has established rules for Short Code-based SMS marketing programs, which are enforced through audits.

If your SMS marketing program is found to be in violation of the CTIA rules during one of these audits, the CTIA will report you to the carriers, and the carriers may shut you down or suspend your program until the issue has been resolved. The CTIA guidelines contain a lot of detail about text message marketing. They tell you what must be included in an advertisement for an SMS program (message and data rates may apply, help and stop commands, messaging frequency, links to terms and conditions, privacy policies, etc.), as well as what must not be included.

Since the CTIA guidelines aren’t law, brands can’t be sued for violating them, but you do run the risk of having your SMS program shut down by one or more carriers. In May of 2014, the CTIA reviewed 1,751 campaigns, and found advertising failures in 386 of the campaigns, which resulted in a 22% failure rate. What accounts for over 20% of all text message advertising failures, was that there was no mention that message and data rates may apply. Below is a graph of the percentage of campaigns that were audited that either passed or failed, when it came to their message flow and advertising of their campaigns.

CTIA Text Message Marketing Audits

If you’re interested in learning more about the CTIA guidelines for text message marketing, and how to avoid being audited by the CTIA, you can download our guide on CTIA compliance here.

CTIA Compliance Text Message Marketing


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