The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued a formal warning to online retailer Topbuy, following an investigation that found the company had breached the Spam Act 2003.
According to the ACMA, the company sent three commercial electronic messages to consumers who had previously requested to be unsubscribed from Topbuy’s mailing list or who had not consented to receive commercial electronic messages in the first place.
The ACMA said Topbuy had claimed in at least one case that it had obtained consent through a family and friends’ referral campaign.
“Many businesses try to acquire clients through referrals from family and friends, but this is simply not allowed under the specific opt-in marketing provisions of the Spam Act,” ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said in a statement.
“Online retailers rely on email marketing, but time and time again the ACMA receives complaints about sloppy or cavalier consent practices. Topbuy and the online retailing industry more generally should consider themselves to be on notice.”
Chapman said Topbuy had engaged with the ACMA to seek advice and resolution about this issue, while demonstrating due concern.
“In this circumstance, a formal warning was issued to indicate the ACMA’s concerns about contraventions and allow the business to take compliance action to prevent any future contraventions,” he said.