TAB's new text marketing campaign flies foul of legislation
"TAB's new text marketing campaign flies foul of legislation"
The TAB is currently being investigated by the Department of Internal Affairs, following a text promotion campaign that appears to have breached anti-spam law.
The two messages concerned were sent in the evenings prior to the All Blacks' two home Tri Nations test matches. The messages stated that recipients of the messages could unsubscribe by replying STOP, with a "std msg fee" applying.
New Zealand's anti-spam legislation, the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007, requires, under s 11(1)(d), for no cost to be associated with unsubscribing from commerical messages.
Hamish McConnochie, a Victoria University student, has filed two complaints with the Department of Internal Affairs' anti-spam unit. He noted that the messages also breached the guidelines published on the anti-spam unit's website.
This is not the first complaint of McConnochie's to attract media attention; in June, an Official Information request he filed was the subject of a National Business Review article, which revealed that Telecom was found to have breached the law. Internal Affiars took no action, as, in response, Telecom updated their terms and conditions.
"It's disappointing that we have these laws in place yet some of the largest companies and organisations in New Zealand seem unable to clearly comply" McConnochie said.
Under the Act, the TAB could face a fine of up to $500,000. However, Internal Affairs has only so far brought one case before the courts, with the majority of their enforcement action taking the form of formal warnings. A list of companies which have been formally warned can be found on the anti-spam section of the Internal Affairs' website.
From the Department of Internal Affairs' anti-spam unit's Guide for businesses: Prohibiting spam and promoting good business practice pdf. (http://www.dia.govt.nz/Pubforms.nsf/URL/BusinessGuide.pdf/$file/BusinessGuide.pdf)
There must be no cost to the recipient for using the unsubscribe facility, and you must honour a request to
unsubscribe within five working days, or else any subsequent emails will be regarded as unsolicited.