Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) Updates Telemarketing and E-marketing Consent Rules

Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) Updates Telemarketing and E-marketing Consent Rules

The Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) has released a statement on 1st July 2024 outlining their expectations for businesses regarding telemarketing and e-marketing consent.

So this is important for any Australian based businesses that does email marketing, cold calling, sms marketing and such.

Below given is simply an AI generated summary of the document and does not constitute as legal advice.

Here are the key takeaways from the document:

Consent is Key:

Businesses must obtain your consent before contacting you for marketing purposes (with some exceptions). This can be express consent (clear and explicit agreement) or inferred consent (based on an existing relationship and relevant marketing).

Why Consent Matters

The central pillar of the ACMA's regulations is consent. Businesses are legally obligated to obtain your consent before contacting you for marketing purposes, with some exceptions. This ensures you have control over who has access to your contact information and for what purposes.

There are two main types of consent recognized by the ACMA:

  • Express Consent: This is the most consumer-friendly option. It involves you explicitly agreeing to receive marketing messages from a business. This agreement should clearly outline the types of marketing you'll receive and how often.
  • Inferred Consent: This is less common and relies on an existing relationship with a business. For example, a bank might be able to infer your consent to receive marketing about new savings products if you already have an account with them.

Do Not Call Register:

The Do Not Call Register (DNCR) is a powerful tool offered by the ACMA that helps you avoid unwanted telemarketing calls. You can register your phone number for free on the DNCR website. Once registered, most telemarketers are legally prohibited from contacting you, with some exemptions like charities and political parties.

Consumer-Friendly Practices:

The ACMA encourages businesses to adopt practices that respect consumer preferences and build trust. Here are some examples of consumer-friendly practices you should expect:

  • Clear and Easy-to-Understand Terms and Conditions: When a business requests your consent for marketing, the terms and conditions should be clear and easy to understand. They should explain what kind of marketing you'll receive, who will be using your information, and for how long. Additionally, it should be simple to find out how to unsubscribe from future messages.
  • Double Opt-In: Some businesses might use a double opt-in process for obtaining consent. This involves sending you a confirmation email after you initially agree to receive marketing messages. This helps ensure you understand what you're signing up for and reduces the risk of accidental sign-ups.
  • Respecting Your Unsubscribe Requests: It's your right to unsubscribe from marketing messages at any time. Businesses should have a straightforward unsubscribe process readily available in all marketing emails and SMS messages. They are obligated to act on your unsubscribe request promptly, typically within five business days.

Unfriendly Practices to Avoid:

Unfortunately, some marketing practices can be deceptive and make it difficult for you to unsubscribe. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • Pre-Checked Tick Boxes: Businesses should not use pre-checked tick boxes to obtain consent for marketing. You should have the option to explicitly agree to receive messages.
  • Bundled Consent: This occurs when a single consent request applies to multiple purposes, not allowing you to choose which types of marketing you agree to. Be wary of situations where you have to agree to receive marketing from multiple brands or for all types of communication to access a service.
  • Hidden Unsubscribe Options: The unsubscribe process should be easy to find and use. Businesses should not require you to log in to an account or provide additional information just to unsubscribe.

Resources

The ACMA's regulations empower you to control your contact information and avoid unwanted marketing messages. Here are some resources to help you further understand your rights:

  • ACMA Website: The ACMA website provides a wealth of information on telemarketing and e-marketing rules. You'll find resources that explain your rights, how to report breaches of the rules, and guidance for businesses: https://www.acma.gov.au/avoid-sending-spam
  • The Do Not Call Register: Visit the Do Not Call Register website to register your phone number and learn more about how it works: https://www.donotcall.gov.au

You can find the complete document here

You can find the update here

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