Retail wine merchant, Get Wines Direct, has been issued a formal warning for breaches of the Spam Act by sending unsolicited marketing emails.
An Australian Communications and Media Authority investigation identified that in the process of rebuilding its marketing database—following a series of disruptions to its e-marketing platform—Get Wines Direct included email addresses that had previously unsubscribed.
Even when Get Wines Direct became aware that messages were being sent to these consumers, it did not cease its marketing campaigns or take steps to ensure that its emails were not misdirected. The investigation concluded that Get Wines Direct sent some marketing messages without the consent of recipients.
If you receive a marketing email that you think may not comply with the Spam Act, you can report it to the ACMA by forwarding the message to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also forward SMS spam to the Spam SMS service on 0429 999 888.
For more information, see the backgrounder below, or to arrange an interview, please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719 and 0434 652 063 or email@example.com.
Media release 70/2014 - 30 October
The Spam Act 2003 regulates unsolicited commercial electronic messages in Australia. Commercial electronic messages can be emails, SMS messages, MMS messages, instant messaging messages or any other similar message that includes a marketing/commercial element.
The Spam Act sets out that commercial electronic messages must not be sent without the following:
> Consent - they must be sent with the recipient's consent. Recipients may give express consent, or consent may be inferred from their conduct and 'existing business or other relationships'
> Identify - they must contain clear and accurate information about the person or organisation that authorised the sending of the message
> Unsubscribe - they must contain a functional 'unsubscribe' facility to allow the recipient to opt out from receiving messages from that source in the future.
The Spam Act provides a range of enforcement options and the ACMA determines an appropriate action on a case-by-case basis. Formal warnings are used by the ACMA to indicate concerns about contraventions, and allow for the business or individual to take compliance action to prevent any future contraventions.
Enforceable undertakings can be offered to the ACMA at any time, and if accepted, provide the opportunity for a business or individual to formalise its commitment to compliance with the Spam Act. The ACMA may also give an infringement notice for contraventions committed in relation to particular civil penalty provisions.
In addition, the ACMA may institute proceedings in the Federal Court including seeking an injunction. The legislation sets out penalties of up to $1.7 million a day for repeat corporate offenders.