SHAFT (sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, and tobacco) content has been heavily regulated in SMS marketing for years, but the CTIA has recently tightened it's rules surrounding this content and is expanding it to include CBD marketing. 

At Postscript, we want all of our users to be able to send the highest quality text messages to their audience. By following messaging best practices, you secure low opt-out rates & maximize return on your marketing investment.

It's crucial to make sure your text messaging program is compliant under both the TCPA (legal regulations) and the CTIA guidelines (carrier rules on restricted content). You can learn more about TCPA Compliance here. Failure to comply with TCPA or CTIA regulations will result in being blocked from using the Postscript platform.

In their Short Code Handbook, the CTIA outlines the categories of messages that cannot be delivered via a short-code for both legal and ethical reasons. They also note that the content that is sent must be appropriate for the audience that it is being delivered to. 

Here are the categories of banned content:

  • Depictions or endorsements of violence
  • Adult or otherwise inappropriate content
  • Profanity
  • Hate/discriminatory speech
  • Endorsement of illegal or illicit drugs

We understand that more and more states are legalizing medical and/or recreational cannabis & CBD use every year. However, Federal Law still prohibits cannabis use. Therefore you cannot send text messages with cannabis or CBD-related content. The carriers have made it clear that they will suspend any short code that sends this content.

Alcohol, firearms, and tobacco content is allowed under certain restrictions, but only on short codes that have been specifically approved for these use cases. 

If you are a CBD, alcohol, firearms, or tobacco brand, please reach out to our support team in chat or at We are happy to talk through ways to successfully market to your audience while safely staying within both the TCPA & the CTIA guidelines. 

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