I'm using MailChimp, and I sent out a test newsletter to myself, and the title had ADV: added to the beginning of my title. I'm not sure if MailChimp did that on its own, or if it was outlook exchange. But I have seen other emails that have ADV: at the start of the title

What does it mean? and is there a way to stop MailChimp from adding it?

  • Did you check if ADV was added to all emails by checking other email inboxes at Gmail and such? Have you tried running it on a different server? – John Conde Aug 7 '13 at 20:31
  • ADVertisement which means it will end up in GMail's Promotional tab, Outlook's Junk folder. – Fiasco Labs Nov 6 '13 at 0:13

Some states require it (Colorado), but it doesn't look like it's coming from mailchimp based on a Google search. If you're using a filtering service on your inbound messages like an antivirus/antispam firewall or an antispam gateway then they may be prepending the header when something matches their filters. It could be Bayesian or a rule specifically for all e-mails from mailchimp. Some antispam filters will actually look for unsubscribe lines in the messages (although these aren't always technically spam).

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The government in Singapore has addressed privacy issues associated with this by implementing the Spam Control Act in 2007. If you’re not compliant with this legislation, you put yourself at risk of suffering serious financial harm and could be sued.


  • (i) Unsubscribe — Every unsolicited message must have a clearly placed link or e-mail address to allow the receiver to unsubscribe.
  • (ii) Labeling — Every message must be clearly labeled as advertising. Putting <ADV> in the subject field satisfies this requirement.
  • (iii) Content Requirements — The subject field and header must not be misleading, and the message must contain a working e-mail or telephone number.


It seems like ADV means "advertisement" (spam)

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