Missed call spam nets AU$150,000 fine

Media and communications watchdog ACMA has handed down a fine of almost AU$150,000 to a company found to be using mobile marketing techniques banned under the Spam Act.

Media and communications watchdog ACMA has handed down a fine of almost AU$150,000 to a company found to be using mobile marketing techniques banned under the Spam Act.

According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), DC Marketing Europe has found to have committed "serious breaches" of the 2003 Spam Act -- which merited a maximum penalty of AU$149,600.

ACMA said DC Marketing Europe had breached the act 102 times with missed call marketing during July and August of last year. The company made short calls to mobiles, leaving the recipient with a missed call message. If users called back, they were put through to marketing messages from the company.

"The missed call marketing messages sent out by DC Marketing were unsolicited, did not identify the sender and did not contain an unsubscribe facility, each of which is a breach of the Spam Act," ACMA said.

The AU$149,600 fine marks the largest penalty for any company since the Spam Act came into force. The second largest was issued last month to Pitch Entertainment Group, trading as Splash Mobile in Australia, which sent over one million electronic messages without a working unsubscribe function. Pitch Entertainment Group was fined AU$11,000 for the contraventions.

The maximum possible fine for repeated breaches of the act is AU$1.1 million per day, ACMA said.

The watchdog said that, thanks to a funding boost from the federal government, it will spend more time ensuring the mobile industry complies with the anti-spam legislation and targeting companies found to be breaking the law.