The new rule is intended to enforce the intention of the CAN-SPAM Act to protect email recipients from unwitting exposure to unwanted sexual images in spam.
The "brown paper wrapper" is what the recipient will initially see when the sexually oriented spam first arrives in their inbox. It must be designed to ensure that only the words "SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT: " and certain other other specified information -- without graphics -- will appear in the email program's preview pane. In other words, the recipient will have to actually open the spam in order to read the sexually oriented material and to view any included graphics.
The new rule also:
Look for the next step in the FTC's implementation of the CAN-SPAM act to be the creation of a national do-not-spam registry, similar to the popular and successful Do-Not-Call registry designed to prevent unwanted telemarketing calls.