Woolworths Group was hit with a fine of AU$1,003,800 by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) due to five million breaches of the Spam Act 2003 made between October 2018 and July 2019.
The breaches consisted of sending marketing emails after people had unsubscribed. According to ACMA Woolies’ systems, processes, and practices were inadequate to comply with spam rules.
ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin stated that the spam rules have been in place for seventeen years and Woolworths is a large and sophisticated organization. The company has failed to act even after they have been warned of potential compliance issues after receiving consumer complaints.
The company has already paid the million-dollar fine and it is not likely to shake them as for its third quarter, the group reported taking in almost AU$16.5 billion in sales and posted AU$1.45 billion in after-tax profit.
The undertaking will see Woolworths hires an independent consultant to review its system, processes, and procedures, and report back to ACMA. As usual with these types of infringements, the company will undertake training for its staff.
O’Loughlin also added that this action by the ACMA must be considered as a reminder to others not to disregard customers’ wishes when it comes to unsubscribing from marketing material.