ACMA slams telco and Coca-Cola for SMS spam breaches

According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, Vodafone Hutchison Australia and Coca-Cola have been reprimanded for alleged breaches of the Spam Act 2003 in its SMS marketing campaign.

The ACMA has accepted enforceable undertakings from VHA Pty Ltd, media agency New Dialogue and content aggregator Big Mobile for their involvement in the alleged breaches. Coca-Cola South Pacific Pty Ltd has also been issued with a formal warning.

“The ACMA considers that well resourced companies should be compliance leaders,” said Chris Chapman, chairman of the ACMA. “There is no excuse for them to fall short in their obligations under the Spam Act for SMS marketing campaigns.”

The ACMA accepted the enforceable undertakings from VHA, which also included a financial component of $110,000. This was offered by VHA in response to three ACMA investigations into breaches of the Spam Act.

In addition to this VHA has outlined that it will appoint an independent auditor to monitor Spam Act compliance and recommend improvements. The company will also provide Spam Act training for all its employees.

“VHA, New Dialogue and Big Mobile are businesses which by their very nature are heavily involved in SMS marketing campaigns. The ACMA nonetheless notes their commitment to the process of achieving compliance with the requirements of the Spam Act,” said Chapman.

“I would keenly hope that their actions and responses provide a sobering reminder to all of the players in the SMS marketing industry about the importance of compliance.”

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