Block stationary in emails for all outgoing emails in a corporate environment

Posted on 2007-08-01
Last Modified: 2008-10-27
Recently at an IT staff meeting, my boss told me that one of our VPs was quite annoyed with all the different stationary being sent out via email from our internal staff. A good example is Jane from accounting likes to use a pink background while Bill from HR likes to use a green and black mash up for all outgoing emails (or flowers, and balloons may be on an email). The VP was quite annoyed with this and deems it unprofessional when sending emails out as a representative of our organization. I've been tasked with blocking stationary from going out with emails. Now for starters, I've never tried this before and knowing Exchange, I very much doubt I'm going to be able to find a native solution for this, but rather seek out a third party solution. I'm running on a Windows 2003 server environment with Exchange 2003. Now because I've never tried to do this before, I'm speculating that I might be able to block HTML content from the server level, or block stationary via group policy to the Outlook client. The problem with both of those options are that users may want to pass off legitimate HTML content at times, and group policy wouldn't work as more than half of my end users are in branch offices using RPC over HTTP. So with that said, do you guys have any solutions? Whether they be native or third party do you know of a solution for me to reach my objective? Also as more of a cherry on top item, I wouldn't mind including a little company logo on all emails, I already have a disclaimer in place using GFI, but that's obviously just text.
Question by:daramooka
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    Assisted Solution

    Here is one long article that basically tells you how to disable stationary from Outlook to be pushed through active directory via Group Policy.  We had implemented this policy as well.  It is tedious tasks but it does help.

    Author Comment

    This is helpful, but this doesn't help support my remote users. The problem is, my remote users only have email addresses and are not part of the domain.
    LVL 76

    Assisted Solution

    by:David Lee
    Hi, daramooka.

    As you mused in your post there is really only one way to block stationery: enforce using plain-text for all messages.  Beyond that, you can block the stationery options using a GPO, but that won't block the use of stationery.  Stationery is nothing more than a set of HTML options (i.e. graphics, colors, fonts, etc.).  Blocking stationery Outlook's stationery options will stop a user from creating/editing/using stationery selections, but it won't stop a user from applying the same attributes manually.  Outlook has no means of determining what is unwanted "stationery" like usage and legitimate HTML.  The only way to completely guard against that is to restrict Outlook to using plain-text for all messages.  Of course that would eliminate legitimate HTML usage also.  

    What the VP is asking for is a technological solution to an management problem.  If the VP doesn't want staff to use "stationery", then the company should articulate a policy and take action against staff who violate it.  
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    Forced accept.

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    That artical was very helpful as all my users are on a domain. Thank you

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