Wednesday, September 20, 2000

Board of Directors and Association Issue Voluntary Guidelines for WAA Members

San Francisco, CA - September 20, 2000 - The Wireless Advertising Association (WAA), an independent Strategic Organizational Unit of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), formed by the merger of the Wireless Advertising Industry Association (WAIA) and the IAB's Wireless Ad Council (WAC), today announced the following statement and guidelines on spam as the first installment in a comprehensive suite of privacy guidelines for WAA members:

In an effort to define a policy that can assist self-policing within the industry, the WAA does not condone wireless push advertising and/or content intentionally or negligently sent to any subscriber's wireless mobile device without explicit subscriber permission and clear identification of the sender. The WAA recognizes the considerable experience of Internet advertisers and marketers, particularly those engaged in permission e-mail campaigns, in establishing the following guidelines:


  • Wireless push advertising and/or content is defined as any content sent by or on behalf of advertisers and marketers to a wireless mobile device at a time other than when the subscriber initiates a request.
  • Advertisers and marketers shall not send wireless push advertising and/or content to a subscriber's wireless mobile device without explicit subscriber permission (opt-in). This includes but is not limited to audio, short message service (SMS), email, multimedia messaging, cell broadcast, picture messages, pushed content (as opposed to content solicited by the wireless subscriber) or any other "pushed" advertising and/or content.
  • Subscriber permission for wireless push advertising and/or content must be verified through Confirmed Opt-In. It is considered the highest level of subscriber permission for e-mail marketing.  The WAA expects Confirmed Opt-In to be the baseline for wireless subscriber permission. 
  • Wireless subscriber permission is not transferable to third parties without explicit permission from the subscriber.
  • Clear instructions to unsubscribe (opt-out) must be made readily available to all recipients for all wireless push advertising and/or content and must be honored.

If used improperly, wireless advertising has the potential to cause irreparable harm, expense to the customer, and undermine the value of an important communication line between customers and advertisers, noted Tim DePriest, Chairperson of the WAA. We feel that the issue of spam is vitally important to the continued growth of the medium and that it is necessary to accelerate our efforts and firmly take a stance.

Open to all members of the wireless community, the WAA encourages those interested to register at [email protected] to take part in the creation of voluntary guidelines for the industry. The WAA's next meeting will take place on November 7th in New York. Location will be posted on the IAB Website ( The organization has slated elections for the new Board of Directors and Officers in the second quarter of 2001.

About the Wireless Advertising Association
The Wireless Advertising Association was formed in May of 2000 with the merger of the Internet Advertising Bureau's Wireless Ad Council and the Wireless Advertising Industry Association. A global organization, the WAA membership consists of the leading companies in the wireless arena, all directed to the goal of fostering the rapid growth of the wireless Internet advertising industry by establishing voluntary guidelines addressing key industry issues.

About the Internet Advertising Bureau
Founded in 1996, the IAB is the leading online advertising association with more than 300 active member companies. Its activities include evaluating and recommending standards and practices, fielding research to document the effectiveness of the online medium, and educating the advertising industry about the use of online advertising. Current membership includes companies that are actively engaged in the sales of Internet advertising, with associate membership including companies that support online advertising - interactive advertising agencies, measurement companies, research suppliers, technology suppliers, traffic companies, and other organizations from related industries. A global organization, IAB member countries include Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. IAB is currently developing membership countries in Asia and Latin America, as well as other countries in Europe. The IAB and the Internet Local Advertising Commerce Association (ILAC) agreed to combine their organizations in July of 1998.


Marla Nitke IAB
[email protected]