Compliance Q&A: CAN-SPAM and Marketing Email Requirements

Q: Does CAN-SPAM require a marketing email to have some variation of “AD”, “ADV” or “ADVERTISEMENT” in the subject line?

A: That is not a specific requirement. What the law requires is that there is a clear and conspicuous identification of the message as an advertisement. CAN-SPAM gives you a lot of leeway in how you accomplish that but stating “advertisement” in the subject line is a common, but not exclusive, means of accomplishing that. 15 USC 7704(5) 15 USC 7704: Other protections for users of commercial electronic mail (


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