New privacy laws could mean opt-outs in all direct marketing and $1.1m fines for rule breakers

jodie sangster

ADMA CEO Jodie Sangster

How marketers use data to target new and existing customers is to get tougher if new laws are passed, industry body ADMA has claimed.

Among the new rules would be mandatory opt-outs in all direct marketing – including social media – and heavy fines of $1.1m for those who flout the rules, the marketing body says.

But the Senate has recommended that a proposal to ban direct marketing altogether be dropped, as well as the need to deal with customers anonymously or enabling them to use a pseudonym.

The report will form the basis of a debate in the Senate, which could be as soon as October 9. But this could be delayed if the government considers the recommendations and re-drafts the law.

Jodie Sangster, CEO of the Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising, said: “This law will have significant implications on how organisations can use personal information for marketing purposes in the future, placing restrictions on the ability for companies to engage customers through channels such as online, mobile and social media.”

A statement from ADMA warned that the proposed law would force Australian businesses to revert back to mass communication and make it harder to tailor marketing to the individual.

It would also mean that consumers would receive an increased amount of irrelevant marketing. “Such provisions would also significantly hinder developments in Big Data, which play a key role in the future of the digital economy,” ADMA suggested.


  1. Peter Applebaum
    26 Sep 12
    3:39 pm

  2. It seems every 4-5 years populist proposals along these lines get put up only to be – thankfully – knocked down.

    The combination of technology advancements and greater client understanding of effective ways to use data to better market to consumers means that this ‘initiative’ should be taken off the table permanently.

    Of course, consumers must be protected from spammers and unscrupulous data miners but what’s proposed would be a major retrograde step.

  3. Ingmar Peldt
    27 Sep 12
    8:32 am

  4. I still get way too many unwanted phone calls from callers of ‘overseas accent appearance’ wanting to talk to ‘the owner of the business’. I guess those clowns don’t have to obey our laws? Another benefit of overseas call centres.