NJ Assembly Bans Unsolicited Text Message Ads


cell-phoneAnnoying, unsolicited text message advertisements could soon be banned in New Jersey.

The Assembly voted 78-0 on Thursday for legislation banning messages that may cause a charge or usage deduction. Proponents say that would effectively ban all unsolicited text message ads.

The state Attorney General’s Office would receive complaints from consumers and enforce the legislation. The bill applies to text messages sent from anywhere in the world and received in New Jersey. Penalties are $10,000 for the first offense and $20,000 for subsequent offenses.

The bill also would require mobile phone companies to allow customers the option of blocking all incoming and outgoing text messages.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about a dozen states, including California, Texas and Rhode Island, have laws prohibiting unsolicited text message ads. Federal law and Federal Communications Commission rules also prohibit unsolicited texts to wireless telephones on the national Do-Not-Call list. Complaints can be lodged with the FCC.

A 2010 version of the bill was unanimously approved by the Assembly but stalled in the Senate. The Senate has not yet voted on the bill this session.

{The Associated Press/Matzav.com Newscenter}