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BizReport : Email Marketing : October 10, 2013

Australian firm pays a high price for spam emails

Reports are surfacing in the Australian press today about a record fine served on a company for sending out hundreds of thousands of email messages that breach the Spam Act.

by Helen Leggatt

Email marketers beware. Sending out emails with no opt-out facility or sending emails to people who have already withdrawn their consent to receiving marketing messages by email, can land you in hot financial water. About AU$165,000 (US$155,694) worth of financial hot water, if the fine dished out to Grays, the company behind retail and auction site GraysOnline, is a measure of the punishment meted out.

Since the introduction of the Spam Act in Australia almost a decade ago, 26 fines have been handed out by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Under the Spam Act, all marketing emails must be sent with a recipient's consent and include an opt-out option.

Grays' fine is the largest to date.

ACMA deputy chair, Richard Bean, says that the fine is just one consequence of a company's careless business decision.

"Businesses take a huge risk if they decide an email doesn't need to comply with the Spam Act," said Bean. "This conduct involved a conscious decision by an experienced e-marketer. The consequences of getting it wrong can be severe - from potential penalties such as this, to damaging your reputation."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: Australia, best practice, email marketing, spam

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