The first prosecution under the Spam Act last week may seem like nothing more than a single renegade marketeer being shut down. But it isn't...
I can tell you from first hand experience the decision has implications for more organisations than just Wayne Mansfield's Clarity1.
A couple of years ago I attended one of Mansfield's e-marketing seminars for a story I was writing on the Spam Act.
As an e-marketeer, Mansfield has had a fair influence on the industry. His national seminars have attracted attendees from government agencies, universities, schools and large companies -- he claimed to have 20,000 attendees in one year alone.
Mansfield's seminars have also driven interest in his "The Maverick Spirit" e-marketing advice products.
The Spirit homepage ominously carries the Francis Bacon quote: "If we are to achieve results never before accomplished, we must expect to employ methods never before attempted".
At the time I sat listening to Mansfield lecture attendees on his interpretation of the then-pending Spam Act legislation, including how you could still mail to e-mail addresses harvested before the Spam Act and not be in breach of the law.
This turned out to be a fallacy which the then-ACA (Australian Communications Authority) tried to point out.
Here were a range of public and private organisations operating in Australia, actively taking advice from someone that is now a convicted spammer.
This can only lead me to assume that many of these organisations will suddenly be reviewing just how closely they've been following Mansfield's advice.