FTC Approves Affiliate Marketing Rule Regarding Use of Consumer Information

For Your Information

The Federal Trade Commission today approved a final rulemaking on affiliate marketing that provides consumers with an opportunity to “opt out” before a person or company uses information provided by an affiliated company to market its products and services to the consumer. The final rule implements section 214 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, which amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The final rule generally prohibits a person from using certain information received from an affiliate to make a solicitation to a consumer about the person’s products or services, unless the consumer is given notice and a reasonable opportunity and a reasonable and simple method to opt out of the making of such solicitations, and the consumer does not opt out. The final rule applies to information obtained from the consumer’s transactions or account relationship with an affiliate, the consumer’s application, and credit reports and other third-party sources. The final rule also implements the statutory exceptions to the notice and opt-out requirement. The appendix to the final rule contains model forms to facilitate compliance with the notice and
opt-out requirement.

The final rule (attached) becomes effective on January 1, 2008. All covered entities must comply with the rule no later than October 1, 2008. Substantially similar rules will be issued separately by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Thrift Supervision, National Credit Union Administration, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The final rule will be published soon and can be found on the Commission’s Web site as a link to this press release. The Commission vote authorizing the publication of the final rule and Federal Register notice was 5-0. (FTC File No. R411006).

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Frank Dorman
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2674