The Responsible Electronic Communications Alliance has drawn a line in the sand to halt the exponential growth of ‘spam’ – unsolicited email hawking just about every product and service in the e-bazaar - and the universal scourge of email users.

TRECA, representing fifteen major online companies (among them DoubleClick, 24/7 Media, Bigfoot Interactive and ClickAction), convened in Boston, Massachussets, yesterday to present a voluntary privacy code intended to stem the surge of spam. This ...

 Bans advertisers from sending solicitations to consumers without consent.

 Allows consumers to remove themselves from mailing lists.

 Restricts email to relevant content.

 Requires members to state how the information customers provide will be used.

Says lawyer Christopher Wolf, TRECA president: “We think this is going to have a major impact and eliminate a lot of the clutter in people's mailboxes.”

The plan, which would grant its seal of approval to complying email marketers, has a set of teeth. Violations would be investigated by an independent auditor, and offenders could be fined and - in extremis - forfeit their seal.

The code is still in draft form, with a final proposal set to be agreed before the year end..

News source: New York Times