McDonald’s receives warning from media watchdog for ‘send to friends’ spamming

McDonald’s Happy Meal website

McDonald’s has received a formal warning from Australia’s media watchdog for spamming young customers through its Happy Meal website.

Emails sent using the ‘send to friends’ facility – which promoted games and other features – on could be sent to friends of users without ensuring the friends’ consent, the Australian Communications and Media Authority ruled.

The messages did not have an unsubscribe facility, as required by the Spam Act, ACMA added.

Since the warning was issued by ACMA, McDonald’s has removed the ‘send to friends’ facility from

ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said: “This case should alert businesses that they must think carefully before using “friend get friend” marketing. When sending your marketing messages, you must make sure that there is consent from the actual person who is going to receive your message. You can’t just assume consent has been given.’

A McDonald’s spokesman told Mumbrella in a statement: “McDonald’s takes its compliance obligations very seriously and fully respects the finding of the ACMA’s investigation. The ‘send to a friend’ function was removed from the Happy Meal website in February 2012 and McDonald’s has no intention of reinstating the function or any similar functions on its websites.”


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