The Spam Act (and the grey areas)

POSTED: 21/10/14


After attending the Email Marketing Summit Australia recently I thought it was worth sharing the Australian Communications and Media Authority's (ACMA's) information and tips regarding The Spam Act.

This information below really summarises the main areas you need to follow when email marketing.

If you are part of a business or organization planning to send email, SMS (text message), MMS
(imaged-based text message) or instant messages to current or prospective customers, you must understand and meet the following three key requirements of the Spam Act 2003:

CONSENT - the message must be sent with the recipient's consent.  The recipient may give express consent, or under certain circumstances, consent may be inferred from their conduct, or an existing business or other relationships.

IDENTIFY - the message must contain accurate information about the person or organization that authorized the sending of the message and how to contact them.

UNSUBSCRIBE - the message must contain a functional 'unsubscribe' facility to allow the recipient to opt out from receiving messages from that source in the future.  Unsubscribe requests must be honoured within five working days.

There often is a lot of confusion/lack of clarity around what the term 'inferred consent' actually means and covers.  I appreciated the 'common sense' approach used by the speaker form the ACMA.  She suggested putting yourself in the shoes of the receiver.  Will they know why they are receiving your email?  Good advice I say!

There was a lot more discussed on this topic.  The ACMA has a lot of information and blogs about email marketing and The Spam Act.  This information can be found at

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