Text Message Spam Costs Academy $20 Million
A class action lawsuit alleging the transmission of unsolicited text message advertisements to consumers nationwide against The International Academy of Design and Technology finally reached a settlement, costing IADT $20 million.
Unsolicited text messages are in direct violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which forbids companies from sending SMS texts to consumers without their primary consent. That being said, 99,997 mobile phones received a text message from IADT through the SMS short code 21021, with one of the following messages:
“IMAGINE HAVING A JOB U LUV! CREATIVES DO SO CAN U.REPLY WITH ‘Y” TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ACADEMY. BY CEC.STD/OTHER CHARGES MAY APPLY. STOP 2 END.”
“IMAGINE A JOB WHERE U CAN USE UR IMAGINATION AND GET PAID 4 IT! REPLY Y TO HEAR HOW U CAN BEGIN 2 EARN UR DEGREE TODAY! BY CEC. STD OTH CHGS APPLY. STOP 2 END”
The Plaintiffs are claiming that they never gave their permission to receive messages from the IATD thus making the above text messages spam. And thanks to the law offices of Edelson and Mcguire (one of the top law firms fighting SMS Spam) any recipient of the spam messages can receive up to $200 each from this settlement if they file a claim. Considering that each text message contained 158 characters or less, that’s $1.27 per character, per plaintiff!
What’s interesting about the IADT is that this SMS spam lawsuit was filed back in August of 2010, seven months before a post appearing on this blog about IADT’s great SMS campaign running on Hulu. Most companies who get into trouble with SMS spam normally shut down their SMS marketing campaigns completely. Kudos to the International Academy of Design and Technology for coming back from their original SMS marketing disaster and creating a campaign that is not only better, but follows all of the TCPA’s regulations.You have to at least give them credit for that.