Businesses who build their marketing database from or including
marketing lists bought from third parties still need to show
evidence or supporting records that the people on those lists
consented to receive electronic messages from the business buying
Online marketing business Web 1000 has been given a formal
warning by the ACMA for 20 contraventions of the Spam Act
2003, in relation to emails sent between 17 December 2014 and
2 May 2015. The investigation was commenced as a result of
complaints received by the ACMA from consumers who had received
marketing messages. Web 1000 was unable to show that these
consumers had consented to receiving these messages.
A key learning is that when buying marketing lists from third
parties, or even where building lists from leads received directly,
you need to be able to show a trail that equates to that individual
consenting to receive commercial messages from your
business (not only the business selling the list).
The best way to prove consent is to have individuals expressly
provide it, preferably via a 'double opt-in' process, and
to keep adequate records of this. Otherwise, you will need to be
able to show you can infer the individual's consent from
conduct or an existing business relationship. The onus is on the
sender to prove that. When purchasing lists from third parties,
examine the way in which the seller has obtained consent to receive
emails from your business. If that third party did not
obtain consent that would reasonably include consent to receive
emails from your business, the list may present both a
legal and reputational risk.
This publication does not deal with every important topic or
change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute
for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's
specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of
interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice
relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named
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