Papa John’s had landed themselves in some hot water a while back, and it is all related to a text marketing campaign. How did this pizza giant get themselves involved in a class action lawsuit related to text marketing? The company Is alleged to have sent messages to people who had not opted-in or shown any other type of interest in hearing from the company.
This is one of the biggest dangers that marketers face when using text message marketing. They try to jump head first into their campaign, unaware of the rules and laws in place, not to mention the many regulations. According to the Papa john’s lawsuit, the company sent out more than 500,000 unsolicited, and illegal, text message to customers.
Caroline Oyler, Papa John’s Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs, says hat Papa John’s intends on filing an appeal during the preliminary hearing regarding the matter. According to Oyler, the blame for the sending of all of those messages is the responsibility of a third-party agency that a number of franchised restaurants used to help articulate a text message marketing campaign.
The third-party company that was used, OnTime4U, apparently informed Papa John’s that customer consent was not required because the relationship between the two had already been established. Thus, lists of names and cell phone numbers were provided to the company and the text marketing messages sent, promoting and encouraging the Papa john’s menu line.
Papa John’s states in their complaint, in addition to the information above, that no evidence is available that even points to customers being asked to receive messages from OnTime4U. The text company, on the other hand, says that Papa John’s gave permission for them to contact the names that they had been provided with.
Papa John’s took action in April 2010, after determining it was likely the messages were not legal. Corporate offices demanded all franchisee stores stop using OnTime4U, and to take steps to regain the information that the company had been provided.
Cases like this one involving Papa John’s are increasing, and it does not have to be this way. So many lawsuits could have been avoided. It is both companies knowing violating the regulations and a simple lack of knowledge, according to Gonzalo Mon, an attorney in Washington. He further states that some companies even think that it is not a serious offense. But it is.
Papa johns may have to fork over a minimum $500 to each and every person contacted on that list if the lawsuit does not follow in their favor. It Is one of the costliest Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuits ever.
All marketers who plan to use text marketing must not rush into things. Instead, taking the time to understand this form of marketing, what is and Is not allowed and how to make text marketing work are all a must.