The ACMA

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Spam complaints

Spam: enforcement actions

Financial penalties for breaches of the legislation

Under most Commonwealth laws, financial penalties are expressed in terms of ‘penalty units’ instead of dollar figures. As an example, a penalty would generally be expressed as ’10 penalty units’ as opposed to ‘$1000’.

 

In July 2015, the Australian Government increased the value of penalty units that apply to breaches of most Australian Government laws as per the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Penalty Unit) Bill 2015 with the value of a penalty unit for calculating financial penalties set at $180. The civil penalties that apply for contraventions of the Spam Act 2003  are calculated using penalty units. This means that all financial penalties calculated using penalty units under the Spam Act 2003 will be higher for breaches of the legislation that occur on or after 31 July 2015. 

2016

   May – J & L Mainwaring (oneofthebest.com.au) Pty Ltd has paid a $21,600 infringement notice following an ACMA investigation that found that it sent marketing messages that did not comply with the Spam Act 2003.

2015

    December - Mr Darren James, trading as the online marketing business Web 1000, has been given a formal warning by the Australian Communications and Media Authority for breaching the Spam Act (the Act) by sending marketing emails without consent of the recipients. This media release was issued on 31 March.

    May - The ACMA accepted an enforceable undertaking from Club Retail Pty Ltd following an investigation that found the online retailer had sent marketing emails without consent, in breach of the Spam Act. This media release was issued on 28 May 2015.

    April - The ACMA has issued a formal warning to Vadkho Pty Ltd, owner of retail website GoDeals, for sending marketing emails in breach of the Spam Act by not having a sufficient opt-out process. This media release was issued on 24 April 2015.

2014

  • October —The ACMA has issued a formal warning Get Wines Direct for sending marketing emails without the consent of the recipients as required by the Spam Act 2003. The media release was issued on 30 October 2014.
  • July —The ACMA has issued a formal warning to IGEA Life Sciences Pty Limited for sending marketing emails without the consent of the recipients as required by the Spam Act 2003. The media release was issued on 22 July 2014. (MS Word 96Kb/ PDF 143Kb)
  • May—The ACMA has accepted an enforceable undertaking from Alex Emad Shehata, trading as Australian Advertising and Marketing Network, following an investigation into his compliance with the Spam Act 2003. The media release was issued on 22 May 2014.
  • May—Rates Direct Pty Ltd has paid a $6,800 infringement notice following an ACMA investigation that found Rates Direct sent marketing messages that did not comply with the Spam Act 2003.
  • March—The ACMA has issued a formal warning to Penta Group Pty Ltd for sending marketing emails without the consent of the recipients as required by the Spam Act 2003. The media release was issued on 6 March 2014. 
  • February—The ACMA has issued a formal warning to Teleloans Pty Ltd, following an investigation into its compliance with the Spam Act 2003. The warning relates to marketing emails that were sent by Teleloans without the consent of the recipient, in contravention of the Spam Act.

2013

  • October—The ACMA has issued a formal warning to ACRIS Services Ltd for sending marketing emails without the consent of the recipients as required by the Spam Act 2003. The media release was issued on 16 October 2013.
  • September—The ACMA has issued a formal warning to DND Media Pty Ltd, an e-marketer sending daily discount offers, following an investigation into its compliance with the Spam Act 2003. The warning relates to marketing emails that were sent by DND Media without the consent of the recipient, in contravention of the Spam Act.
  • May—Cellarmaster Wines Pty Limited has paid a $110,000 infringement notice following an ACMA investigation that found Cellarmaster Wines sent marketing messages that did not comply with the Spam Act. The media release was issued on 28 May 2013.
  • March—The ACMA issued a formal warning to online retailer Groupon Australia Pty Ltd for sending daily email newsletters without consent, as required by the Spam Act. The media release was issued on 14 March 2013.
  • January—Online bookmaker Betezy Pty Limited has paid a $6,600 penalty after an investigation found that it sent email newsletters and SMS campaigns without including an option to unsubscribe, as required by the Spam Act. The media release was issued on 17 January 2013.

2012

  • December—The ACMA issued a formal warning to McDonald’s Australia Limited under the Spam Act in relation to a ‘send to friends’ facility on the McDonald’s Happy Meal website. The media release was issued on 18 December 2012.
  • October—The ACMA issues a formal warning to A.AAAAAAAAbbey Home Services Pty Ltd, trading as Barry's Plumbing and Electrical, for sending SMS messages without the recipients' consent, in breach of the Spam Act. The formal warning was issued on 5 October 2012.
  • OctoberThe ACMA accepts an enforceable undertaking from Tiger Airways Holdings Limited—and payment of a $110,000 infringement notice by its subsidiary Tiger Airways Australia Pty Limited—for failing to unsubscribe customers from marketing emails. The media release was issued on 25 October 2012.
  • SeptemberThe ACMA issues formal warnings to Aussie Web Tech Pty Ltd and MyCRA Pty Ltd for sending messages without an unsubscribe facility, in breach of the Spam Act. The media release was issued on 6 September 2012.
  • AugustThe ACMA has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court in Sydney against JER Pty Ltd for breach of an enforceable undertaking under the Spam Act 2003. More ...
  • MayThe ACMA issues a formal warning to Global Billing Solutions Pty Ltd for sending messages without consent and an unsubscribe facility, in breach of the Spam Act. The media release was issued on 16 May 2012.
  • April—The ACMA issues a formal warning to 'daily deals' website promoter, Moosta Pty Ltd, for sending messages without an unsubscribe facility, in breach of the Spam Act. The formal warning was issued on 4 April 2012.
  • April—The ACMA issues a formal warning to Melbourne based travel business Ezystays Pty Ltd, for sending messages without consent, in breach of the Spam Act. The media release was issued on 3 April 2012.
  • March—The ACMA has accepted an enforceable undertaking from the owner and operator of the National Poker League, EventsHQ Pty Ltd following an investigation into its compliance with the Spam Act. The media release was issued on 7 March 2012.
  • February—The ACMA issues formal warnings to Select Print Solutions Pty Ltd and SThree Australia Pty Ltd for not complying with the Spam Act for sending messages without consent. The media release was issued on 9 February 2012.
  • January—The ACMA has accepted an enforceable undertaking, including correctional measures, from one of the world's largest mobile phone manufacturers, Nokia Corporation. The media release was issued on 24 January 2012.

2011

  • October—The ACMA has accepted an enforceable undertaking from nightclub promoter Urban Agent following an investigation into its compliance with the Spam Act. The media release was issued on 30 November 2011.
  • September—The ACMA issues a formal warning to Apus Corporation Pty Ltd for sending messages without consent, in breach of the Spam Act. The media release was issued on 28 September 2011.
  • August—The ACMA issues a formal warning to Image Marketing Group Limited for not complying with the Spam Act for sending messages without consent. The media release was issued on 7 September 2011.
  • July—The ACMA issues a formal warning to Astute Corporation Pty Ltd for not complying with the Spam Act for sending messages without consent. The media release was issued on 10 August 2011.
  • February—The ACMA issues two formal warnings to SNX Pty Ltd—trading as Premier Auto Wholesale—and Home Loan Selection Services for not complying with the Spam Act for sending messages without consent. The media release has more information.
  • January—The ACMA has accepted an enforceable undertaking with a financial component of $110,000 from Virgin Blue Airlines following an investigation into its email marketing practices. The media release has more information.

The ACMA enforcement actions issued before 2011 are available in the ACMA enforcement action archives page.

A list of enforceable undertakings accepted under the Spam Act is available.

Last updated: 01 July 2016

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