The ACMA

Anti-spam

Ensuring you don't spam

GoDeals gets a fail for marketing emails opt-out

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has issued a formal warning to Vadkho Pty Ltd, owner of retail website GoDeals, for sending marketing emails in breach of the Spam Act.

An ACMA investigation found that when some recipients of the messages tried to opt-out of GoDeals’ marketing, the emails kept coming. GoDeals has now introduced a new email marketing tool to avoid these failures, and improved its processing of requests to opt out. Since these changes were made, the ACMA has received no further complaints or reports about GoDeals.

The ACMA’s latest e-marketing blog discusses the importance of having a functional and user-friendly opt-out process. The blog—Successful e-marketing…it’s about reputation—emphasises that e-marketing to recipients who don’t want to receive your messages is not a successful business strategy. To sign up for the blog, go here.

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 report@submit.spam.acma.gov.au. You may also forward SMS spam to the Spam SMS service on 0429 999 888.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719 and 0434 652 063 or media@acma.gov.au.

Media release 21/2015 - 24 April

Backgrounder

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.

Last updated: 01 June 2015

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