More Aussie spammers caught under ACMA’s iron fist

The Ad Company has copped a formal warning from the Australian Communications and Media Authority for alleged breaches of the Spam Act. issues formal warning for alleged breaches of the Spam Act 2003 [news release]
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has issued a formal warning to The Ad Company Pty Ltd for alleged breaches of the Spam Act 2003 as a result of sending commercial electronic messages by e-mail without the consent of the recipient. It is also alleged that a quantity of the messages did not have an unsubscribe link or information on how to unsubscribe within the messages.ACMA notes that the new owners of The Ad Company have co-operated with ACMA’s investigation and have indicated a willingness to alter the company’s advertising methods to comply with legislation.Commercial electronic messages can be sent by email, SMS, MMS and instant messaging. Under the Spam Act, potential penalties of up to $1.1 million per day may be imposed by the Federal Court for repeat offenders.’All e-marketers need to be aware of their obligations under the Spam Act,’ said Chris Chapman, ACMA Chairman. ‘Equally, consumers should be aware that if they receive unsolicited commercial messages by email, SMS, MMS and instant messaging that they can make a complaint to ACMA under the Spam Act.’Complaints can be made via the webform at ACMA’s anti-spam webpage contact: Donald Robertson, ACMA Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7980.BackgrounderThe Spam Act 2003 regulates unsolicited commercial electronic messaging in Australia. Commercial electronic messages can be emails, SMS messages, MMS messages, instant messaging messages or any other similar messages.The Act sets outs that commercial electronic messages must have the following features:

  • Consent – it must be sent with the recipient’s consent. They may give express consent, or consent may be inferred from their conduct and ‘existing business or other relationships’;
  • Identify – it must contain accurate information about the person or organisation that authorised the sending of the message; and
  • Unsubscribe – it must contain a functional ‘unsubscribe’ facility to allow the recipient to opt-out from receiving messages from that source in the future.

The penalty provisions of the legislation came into force in 2004. At that time Australia was 10th in the ranking of spam-relaying countries for email spam. By the end of 2007, Australian had fallen to 35th in this list.The commercial electronic messages allegedly sent by The Ad Company were emails that were sent without the consent of the recipients, particularly after consent had been withdrawn.Consumers seeking more information about spam or wishing to complain about spam they may have received can do so at ACMA’s spam website: offers the free SpamMATTERS reporting software to consumers for download from ACMA’s spam website: SpamMATTERS is used to help fight spam and enables ACMA to identify and gather the forensic information it needs to identify spammers and take action against them.

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