New Jersey Bans Unsolicited Text Ads

TRENTON (AP) -

New Jersey is taking steps to shield consumers from unsolicited text ads.

Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday signed into law a bill that seeks to help consumers avoid unnecessary cellphone charges.

The law requires a recipient to give permission to receive advertising. Phone companies also are required to allow customers to block all incoming and outgoing text messages if they could incur charges or a deduction in their usage allocation.

Violators would face a fine of up to $500 for the first offense and $1,000 each time after. However, they won’t be penalized if they can prove it was an isolated message that was sent no more than once in a 12-month period.