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Monique Limón
Sen. Monique Limón. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Bill to Allow Opt-Out from Receiving Commercial Mail Advertising

A company that knowingly violates law subjected to a civil fine of at least $1,000 and up to $1,000,000 for each violation

By Chris Micheli, February 8, 2021 5:04 pm

On February 5, Senator Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara) introduced Senate Bill 324, related to unsolicited commercial mail advertisements. The bill would add Article 10 (commencing with Section 17610) to Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code.

First, SB 324 would require a company that sends one or more unsolicited commercial mail advertisements to the same address in a year to include specified information on those advertisements, including a toll-free number that can be used to opt out from or cease receiving commercial mail advertisements from the company.

Second, the bill would require a company, upon receiving a request from a recipient to opt out from or cease receiving advertising, to remove the recipient’s mailing address from the company’s internal mailing lists and to contact any mail delivery service or third party to ensure that the recipient no longer receives the company’s commercial mail advertisements.

SB 324 would subject a company that knowingly violates those provisions to a civil fine of at least $1,000 and up to $1,000,000 for each violation and would specify factors to be used to determine the amount of the fine. The bill would also authorize a city attorney, district attorney, or the Attorney General to bring an action to enforce these provisions.

Section One of the bill would add Article 10 (commencing with Section 17610) to Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code. Article 10 would be titled: “Unsolicited Commercial Mail Advertisements.” It would definition the term “Unsolicited commercial mail advertisement” to mean a commercial mail advertisement sent to a recipient who has not provided consent to receive advertisements from the advertiser, and who does not have a preexisting or current business relationship with the advertiser promoting the lease, sale, rental, gift offer, or other disposition of any property, goods, services, or extension of credit.

The bill would also define the terms “commercial mail advertisement,” “preexisting or current business relationship,” “company,” and “QR Code.” In the new section of law, SB 324 would require any company that sends one or more unsolicited commercial mail advertisements to the same address in a single calendar year must include specified information on the unsolicited commercial mail advertisements.

In addition, if a recipient responds with a removal request, then the company must remove the recipient’s mailing address from the company’s internal mailing lists, as well as contact any mail delivery service, or third party to ensure that the recipient no longer receives the company’s commercial mail advertisements.

Finally, in another code section, SB 324 would provide any company that violates the above provisions is liable for a civil penalty from $1,000 up to $1 million for each violation. A court is required to take specified circumstances under consideration in assessing the amount of the fine. Moreover, a civil action can be brought to enforce this law by a city attorney, district attorney, or the Attorney General.

This bill will likely be heard in its first policy committee in late March.

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3 thoughts on “Bill to Allow Opt-Out from Receiving Commercial Mail Advertising

  1. Even if this were to pass it would end up being exactly like the “do not call” opt out list that makes zero difference. I still get spam called multiple times every day.

  2. I like it; I’m in. And, if it proves to be as ineffectual as the Do Not Call list, then we can go from there. But, these are not the same. For one thing, you can’t “spoof” mail; mail costs money up front whereas calls are virtually free; you have a printed copy of the goods and from where they came upon receipt…just keep an evidence box. I say we give this a try. However, what do you want to bet that the postal union(s) will be against it? It lowers the demand for their services with millions of tons of junk mail not mailed every year. LET’S DO THIS!

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