Fax marketing industry standard | ACMA

Fax marketing industry standard

The ACMA made the Fax Marketing Industry Standard 2011 which commenced on 4 May 2011.

The fax marketing industry standard established a minimum set of requirements for sending marketing faxes and attempts to balance community and industry expectations in relation to the sending of marketing faxes. It aims to provide greater certainty for consumers on the minimum level of conduct they can expect from fax marketers. It is also intended to encourage best practice in fax marketing.

The fax marketing industry standard applies to all participants in the fax marketing industry including some individuals and organisations that are not covered by the general prohibition contained in the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 (the Act).

This means that even if a particular business, such as a charitable organisation, is exempt from the requirements of the Act and therefore able to fax numbers listed on the register, they must still meet the requirements contained in the industry standard.

The fax marketing industry standard applies to:

All marketing faxes made to an Australian number to offer, advertise or promote goods, services, interests in land, business opportunities, or to solicit donations

Broadly speaking a person is a participant in the fax marketing industry if they use marketing faxes to:

    • market, advertise or promote goods or services, land or an interest in land, or a business or investment opportunity, or to promote a supplier or potential supplier of such goods or services
    • solicit donations
    • conduct opinion polling 
    • carry out standard questionnaire-based research.

Minimum standards

The fax marketing industry standard established minimum standards in four main areas:

  • restricting the faxing hours/days for sending marketing faxes

  • requiring the provision of specific information on a marketing fax

  • requiring an opt-out provision on a marketing fax

  • restricting the frequency that marketing faxes may be sent in a particular period to a particular number

1. The fax marketing industry standard provides clean and enforceable rules including restrictions on the hours and days of faxing

Under the fax marketing industry standard, a fax marketer must not send a marketing fax or attempt to send a marketing fax on:

Weekdays

Before 9.00 am or after 8.00 pm

Saturday

Before 9.00 am or after 5.00 pm

Sunday

Prohibited all day

National public holidays

Prohibited all day

There is exemption to the rules where consent has been given by the fax recipient in advance to receive the fax during the prohibited faxing hours.

 

Where more stringent faxing hour restrictions apply under a state or territory law, the more stringent law will continue to apply.

2. Under the fax marketing industry standard, a marketing fax must include the following information:

  • the name of fax advertiser

  • the Australian Business Number (ABN) of the fax advertiser, or equivalent business number identification if the person who authorised the sending of the fax is a foreign company

  • the contact details of the fax advertiser

  • the destination number that the fax is intended to be sent to

  • the details of how the recipient can send an opt-out message including:

      • a statement to the effect that the fax recipient may opt out of receiving any future faxes from the person who authorised the sending of the fax by conveying an opt-out message to an opt-out address 
      • an opt-out address to which fax recipients can communicate an opt-out message. 

The information required must be:

  • displayed in a clear and conspicuous manner

  • included on the first page of the fax at a minimum

  • displayed using a minimum size 10 font.

3. The fax marketing industry standard requires that a person can send to, leave at, or otherwise communicate an opt-out message to the opt-out address.

A fax marketer must have in place processes to ensure that:

  • the opt-out address provided in the fax is capable of receiving opt-out messages at all times

  • as soon as possible, and no later than 7 days, after a fax recipient has opted out of receiving fax messages, the fax recipient’s number is removed from any list of Australian numbers used by the sender.

4. The standard also requires a limit on number of faxes to be sent to a recipient in a period.

A person who sends faxes must make reasonable efforts to ensure that no more than 10 faxes, that are authorised to be sent by the same fax advertiser, are sent to a particular Australian number in any single 24 hour period.

The fax marketing industry standard and accompanying Explanatory Statement are available online.

Last updated: 13 October 2016