Advertising Guidelines (Short Codes)

These guidelines follow the CTIA best practices and Advertising Guidelines that apply for All US Short Codes.

The CTIA messaging guidelines are a set of principles and best practices which rely on voluntary compliance and not legal enforcement. You will not be fined for failing to follow the CTIA messaging guidelines. However, if you’re not following the CTIA guidelines, you could easily be violating the GDPR or Federal Trade Commission Act, which will get you fined.

Following compliance guidelines surrounding Short Codes is vital to having a successful Short Code campaign. Violating the regulations can result in campaign cancellations and hefty fines so it is highly recommended that our customers read through the guidelines and best practices to ensure compliance.

CTIA Messaging Guidelines (Definitions)

  • P2P (Person-to-Person): Generally defined as a two-way (back and forth) messaging conversation between two people.
  • A2P (Application-to-Person): SMS sent from a subscriber to an application or sent from an application to a subscriber.
  • SMS (Short Messaging Service): SMS is used for sending text-only messages over cellular networks.

Currently we only support SMS (text-based messages). We will soon offer Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages. With a MMS, you can send messages that include pictures, video or audio content, gifs, etc.

CTIA Principles and Best Practices

The CTIA messaging guidelines are generally straightforward and easy to follow. Here a the 4 General Guiding Principles that provide the baseline for all the CTIA compliance requirements:

  1. Display clear calls-to-action. All programs must display a clear call-to-action. Customers must be made aware of what exactly they are signing up to receive.
  2. Offer clear opt-in. Customers must consent clearly to opt- in to all recurring-messages programs. Requiring a customer to enter a mobile phone number does not constitute a compliant opt-in. Instead, customers must understand they will receive messages and consent to receive them.
  3. Send opt-in confirmation messages. A confirmation message must be sent to customers always. For recurring-messages programs, confirmation messages must include clear opt-out instructions.
  4. Acknowledge opt-out requests. Short Code service providers must acknowledge and act on all opt-out requests. Monitoring procedures confirm successful opt-out.

For more information, download the CTIA Short Code Monitoring Handbook & CTIA Short Code Monitoring Handbook Addendum –Please review Use Cases sections A.8 and A.9 to see required language that is needed for your Short Code programs.