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Rolling Stone Publisher Hit With Class Action Over Text Message Marketing

Wenner Media's respite from legal trouble didn't last long.

A class action has just been filed against the publisher of Rolling Stone, US Weekly and Men's Journal for aggressive marketing. According to the complaint, filed on Tuesday in Illinois District Court, Wenner Media and Consumer Benefit Services have been sending text messages to cell phones of consumers offering vouchers for magazine subscriptions.

The proposed class action, led by an Indiana woman named Karen Schrock, claims the SMS messages violated section 227 of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which restricts the use of automatic dialing systems to cell phones.

Damages are said to be a minimum of $500 per violation, or more than $5 million total.

In the past few years, Wenner has been fighting over its aggressive promotional and merchandising campaigns. This year, the company convinced a federal court to dismiss a challenge by dozens of indie rock bands who objected to a Rolling Stone spread next to an advertisement for cigarettes. It also recently settled a lawsuit targeting the company's use of magazine covers on t-shirts and tote bags.

Now Wenner's lawyers will find themselves back in court.