Marketing company hit with $79,800 ACMA fine for spam texts

Telco First has been slapped with a $79,800 fine for sending more than 65,000 spam text messages to 40,000 phone numbers.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) issued the marketing company’s second fine after investigating it for the texts, which were sent in 2019 through another company.

Because the texts were sent without recipients’ consent, did not identify the sender, or did not have an unsubscribe option, they breached the Spam Act. The ACMA said that although the messages were sent by another business, this did not absolve Telco First.

“Businesses need to know they cannot outsource their compliance obligations,” said ACMA member Fiona Cameron.

“Businesses need to check they have obtained consent and keep a record of it before they conduct SMS marketing. They should have robust arrangements in place to confirm other businesses operating on their behalf are doing the same.”

The ACMA also fined the company $285,600 in 2018, for making telemarketing calls to numbers listed on the Do Not Call Register when it was trading as Lead My Way Pty Ltd.

“Given its history of non-compliance, we will be monitoring Telco First’s conduct closely and we will not hesitate to take further action if we find breaches in the future,” Cameron warned.

Telco First promised to appoint an independent consultant to review the way it monitors and ensures compliance with spam laws before it undertakes any further e-marketing.

In response to illegal marketing activity, the ACMA can take a company to the Federal Court, issue an infringement notice, accept court enforceable undertakings like the promise Telco First made, or issue a formal warning. Repeat corporate offenders can be fined up to $2.22 million a day.


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