Spam Act needs to keep pace with marketing campaigns: Industry

ADMA, IAB say innovations such as `send to a friend’ email campaigns have emerged since legislation was written and require constant vigilance

The Spam Act, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this December, needs to keep up with innovations in marketing if it is to remain successful and relevant, according to the Australian Data-driven Marketing Association (ADMA) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

<i>The Spam Act</i> came into law on 12 December 2003 and regulates the sending of marketing emails, SMS and instant messages. As part of its introduction, it became compulsory for consumers who receive marketing communications to be given the option to opt out.

According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, the act has helped reduce the amount of spam over the years. However, ADMA CEO Jodie Sangster told CMO that the legislation needs to keep pace with the changing dynamic of email marketing and emergence of new campaigns such as `refer a friend’ online campaigns.

“Technology has changed the way we do things and you’re applying a piece of legislation from 10 years ago to something quite new,” she said.

Customer complaints about a `send to friend’ email landed McDonald’s Australia in hot water with ACMA in 2012. The regulator found emails sent via the McDonald’s Happy Meal website using the ‘send to friends’ option were sent without ensuring a friend’s consent. The emails had no unsubscribe option either, which is required under the Act. The `send to a friend’ function was removed from the Happy Meal website in February 2012.

“With the McDonald’s case, that was standard industry practice. That is how the majority of companies in Australia were doing a `refer a friend’ campaign,” Sangster said. “The regulator needs to work with the marketing industry because often, the techniques that are used in marketing are often not understood by people who don’t work in marketing.”

IAB Australia CEO, Alice Manners, said the Spam Act is “always worth reviewing” after 10 years to ensure clarity, and highlighted the McDonalds campaign as an example of why. However, she added that spam in Australia is not the issue it was 10 years ago.

For example, Australia was listed in Sophos’ top 10 spamming countries in 2003. As of 2013, it now comes in at place 44.

“The Act has had an overall positive impact as it is not a consumer issue of concern anymore,” Manners said. “You just need to visit some of our neighbouring Asia-Pacific markets where spam is rampant to appreciate the status in Australia currently.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Disruption Down Under – What’s Amazon’s real competitive advantage?

Savvy shoppers wait in anticipation, while Australian retailers are gearing up for the onslaught. Amazon’s arrival is imminent.

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve

Traditionally the non-executive board of a company acts in an advisory capacity - attending monthly board meetings to offer overarching advice and guidance typically focusing on:

Jodie Sangster

CEO, ADMA

The most desirable customers you’ve overlooked

“What will really move the needle?” This is a question that keeps leaders awake at night. And at the intersection of some of their top priorities – finding pockets of growth, redefining the customer experience, and making an emotional impact – lies a latent market: Their diverse customers.

Really inspiring !

Goldenboy Media

Jaywing sets sights on Australian growth with digital and data-driven agency model

Read more

Being aware of regulations or guidlines is just the start. As our CEO Emma Lo Russo stated exactly two weeks ago at an event we supported...

Alan Smith

​Are the Wild West days of influencer collaboration over?

Read more

Rebranding is always nice solution to get better organisation. Businessman may apply certain special services (for example, https://www.l...

David Hill

CMO interview: Spearheading the global rebranding of OFX

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing this article.Top Digital Marketing company in Bangalore

Way To DM

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Thanks for the great article Jodie, agree many boards and senior execs are operating in outdated modes, just as we need some reverse soci...

sharyn

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve - Data-driven marketing - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in